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Dutton-Goldfield Pinot Noir Azaya Ranch Petaluma Gap 2018  - First Bottle


93 Wine Enthusiast -
Cellar Selection - This taut and concentrated wine seems to be all about the future. Slightly restrained aromas of black cherry and sour cherry lead to deep, tightly wound black-fruit flavors that are firmly wrapped in fine-grained tannins. Best from 2025.

Technical Details

  • WinemakerDan Goldfield
  • CountryUS
  • RegionCalifornia
  • Sub-RegionNorth Coast
  • AppellationPetaluma Gap
  • VineyardAzaya Ranch Vineyard
  • OakFrench oak barrels (40% new wood)
  • Aging/Cooperage17 Months
  • Alcohol13.7%
  • Production426 cases

Dutton-Goldfield Pinot Noir Azaya Ranch Petaluma Gap 2018

Pinot Noir  |  US

SPECIAL: Ground shipping included on 4+ bottles!
50% off retail!

If you’ve yet to try a pinot noir grown in Marin County, let this be your foray into the sparsely planted, cool-climate, lively-toned terroir. Grown on a south and west-facing hill, tucked into a slope well-protected from the brisk Pacific winds, the fruit ripens slowly to develop a wine with searing acidity, vigorous intensity, and nuanced berry characters...this is a brilliantly structured, serious pinot noir with 93 points and sitting pretty at a price too good to show in this offer!

Fifth-generation farmer Steve Dutton and research chemist, enologist, and winemaker Dan Goldfield (of Robert Mondavi Winery, Schramsberg, La Crema, and Hartford Court) partnered together in 1998 to meticulously craft wines reflective of their favorite cool-climate vineyard plots dotted along the northern Pacific coast. The pair specializes in single-vineyard pinot noirs representing terroirs from Marin and the Russian River Valley to Anderson Valley and Mendocino, and parcels in between, with a few other varieties in the mix, for good measure.

This 2018 Azaya Ranch Vineyard pinot noir is from plantings of 3 clones – 667 for its darkly fruited body, 828 for its lively acidity, and a bit of 115 for its lovely fragrance. Because of its proximity to the cooling coast and dense fog of the Petaluma Gap, the vineyard produces small berries that mature slowly and develop thick, tight skins with surprisingly dense, plump insides. Hand-sorting and destemming lead to a 7-day cold-soak with 1-3 daily punch-downs to smooth out any harsh tannins. Initial aging occurs in 45% new wood before final blending takes place, and then a secondary aging process in Seguin Moreau Icone (for enhanced earthy spices), and Taransaud (to integrate a toffee sweetness) barrels prior to bottling in April 2020.

It is clear that the careful winemaking decisions behind this effort have resulted in something altogether unique and spectacular, with layers upon layers of flavor and character to enhance the elegance of the wine. A strongly perfumed nose opens with tart cherries and raspberries, plus black cherry compote balanced with notes of dried herbs, cinnamon, and allspice. The bright berry blitz carries into the palate, with a brilliant iteration of cherry crumble, plus fresh, popping pomegranate and cranberry along with touches of cracked black pepper and turned soil. Refined tannins and a fresh, luscious finish make this a stellar offering from a small-production winery that is making waves along the northern California coast.

PAIRING IDEAS: The bright berry nature of this pinot makes it a great summer red – and a perfect contender beside your next grilled meal. Lemon pepper chicken wings would be a fun and zingy pairing to let those berry notes shine while also bringing out some of the wine’s earthier and spiced characters.

About the Producer

Once a dominant apple-growing region, Sebastopol is now a destination hide-away for visitors and home to the winery’s founders, Joe and Tracy Dutton. Joe and Tracy’s agricultural heritage is deeply rooted in Sonoma County, as Tracy’s great-grandparents began farming apples in the 1920’s and today continues growing apples and grapes at the family’s recognized farm and food production facility in Forestville at Kozlowski Farms. Joe's daily focus in the vineyards and operating Dutton Ranch. Tracy spends her days at Dutton Estate Winery, and oversees the winery and its operations.