The Dozen Vol. 25 No. 03 Wine

The Dozen – A Dutton-Goldfield Rush

Among the winery's outstanding Pinot Noirs, someone slipped in a very good Riesling.


Dutton Ranch has long been known for its quality grapes. Its name was often featured on other winegrowers’ labels for years before Steve Dutton teamed up with Dan Goldfield to found Dutton-Goldfield Winery in 1998.  Although the winery is located in the Russian River Valley, grapes for their vineyard-designated wines come from all across California’s North Coast mega-region.

Whenever I receive new-release samples from DG, it is always a rewarding experience of quality Pinot Noirs and/or Chardonnays from different vineyards made by the same team. Moreover, there is usually a bottle or so of some variety other than those two Burgundian standouts for which DG is justly famous.

This time it was a Zinfandel, which was “interesting,” and a Riesling that… Well, let’s just start with the Riesling, a variety I have long loved to sip, but which seldom is my preference for a food wine.

2018 Dutton-Goldfield “Chileno Valley” Marin County Riesling ($30). Most Rieslings are so floral that their advocates pair them as opposites – say, opposite spicy dishes. This one will complement a number of foods seamlessly – white fish, pasta salads, roast chicken –with its lean but still fleshy stone fruit flavors followed by some tartness and oiliness in the finish.

2018 Dutton-Goldfield “Morelli Lane” Russian River Zinfandel ($50). While I fell in love with the Riesling, I’m happy with only a casual relationship with the Zin, though it does have lovely flavors of voluptuous cherries that narrow to a puckered finish.

2018 Dutton-Goldfield “Dutton Ranch-Emerald Ridge” Green Valley of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir ($68). Pleasant, bright cherry, and black raspberry fruits with tart acidity.

2018 Dutton-Goldfield “McDougall Vineyard” Fort Ross-Seaview Pinot Noir ($68). Very smooth, full-bodied with rounded dark cherry flavors, a few savory notes, and good acidity – quite nice.

2018 Dutton-Goldfield “Redwood Ridge” Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir ($68). Another pleaser, a complex one, with a savory intensity followed by a purple fruit finish, and a note of chocolate.

2018 Dutton-Goldfield “Van Der Kamp Vineyard” Sonoma Mountain Pinot Noir ($68).  Generous and bright, with rich, almost earthy blackberry and cherry fruits – very satisfying.

2018 Dutton-Goldfield “Deviate” Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir ($72). Lots of cola-sassafras flavors that are characteristic of a few Pinots – and a characteristic I like – with fairly lean, cherry-raspberry fruits. Very long on the palate.

And now on to the rest of The Dozen:

2018 Sequoia Grove Napa Valley Chardonnay ($25).  Quite good – juicy, fresh, full-bodied, lightly spicy with fresh apple and pear flavors.

2018 Gary Farrell “Russian River Selection” Russian River Valley Pinot Noir ($38). Bright fruit with good richness of tastes and textures with a long finish.

2017 Sequoia Grove Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($48). Enjoyable, dense, and dark cherry flavors with some notes of Baker’s chocolate, and pencil lead with chewy tannins.

2018 The Prisoner “The Prisoner” Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($51). One of those wines that make you wait until the finish to pack its flavorful wallop – and a big, lovely wallop it is, with rounded black raspberries and other purple fruits, some savory notes for balance, a hint of cream and smooth tannins. My!

2017 Moulin de Duhart Pauillac ($75). Some lovely flavors of tangy blackberries and savory spices that fade from the palate just as we’re beginning to get to know them.

The prices listed are generally SRP or from As more wineries are now shipping direct-to-consumer, check the winery website if you can’t find a bottle in your retail store.

Image courtesy of Dutton-Goldfield

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