Pinot Noir Wine Club
October Pinot Noir Club
One of the highlights of my year so far was the wine dinner we held with Dan Goldfield at the sublime Rivoli restaurant. Dan was an articulate campaigner for cool climate wines, and his bottlings are plush, lush, well-balanced and very food friendly.
You have a choice between a bottle of
- Dutton-Goldfield Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
- Dutton-Goldfield McDougal Ranch Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast
- Dutton-Goldfield Devil's Gulch Pinot Noir Marin County
Russian River Pinot Noir Dutton Ranch A blend of five of our favorite Dutton Ranch vineyards in Russian River Valley, this wine is a our vision for classic Russian River pinot. The 2007 vintage was about a good as it gets for growing Pinot. Ample early winter rains provided excellent subsoil moisture, while the dry, warm spring and early summer stimulated balanced vine growth, good set, and early conversion to ripening metabolism. The year turned cool in late summer and fall, preserving acidity and providing us with extended hang time for superb flavor and tannin development. The resulting wine is everything we want in the Dutton Ranch Pinot Noir: opulent and bright on the nose, focused and lush in the mouth, and fresh and lingering on the finish. The nose bursts with ripe black cherry, Asian spice and cinnamon. The mouth is striking for its combination of plush cherry and blackberry fruit, bright acidity and supple tannins, all carried through the persistent, spicy finish. A very versatile food match, try it with roasted fowl, salmon on the barbeque, chanterelle risotto, or your favorite fresh cheeses. 90 points, Wine Spectator.
McDougal Ranch The vineyards of the high, dry ridges of the Sonoma Coast thrive in long, cool vintages like 2006. The extended season develops the floral aromatics and silky tannins we so love in Pinot Noir, while maintaining acidity and moderate alcohol. The 2006 McDougall Pinot expresses the natural depth and minerality central to the personality of this vineyard, while its vintage origin shows in the liveliness and fineness derived from the 2006 season. In the nose, this wine leads with red plum and black cherry fruit, with overtones of chipped granite, geranium and a touch of smoke. In the mouth, exceptionally sweet creamy tannins support the candied cherry and cranberry fruit and carry the floral and mineral notes though the long, fresh finish. The total impression is one of great integration and completeness, the result of beautifully ripe grapes and sensitive winemaking."...massive cherry, black raspberry, vanilla, cola and Asian spice flavors shine through... 93 points."~Wine Enthusiast
Devil's Gulch Wines that are truly affecting are the ones most difficult to write about, and the 2007 Devil's Gulch is a prime example. Its combination of density, complexity, lively brightness, and at the same time brooding depth, defies normal product sheet verbiage. One's first look at this wine in the glass portends the story: While absurdly deep in color for Pinot it is also vibrant and almost crimson in hue. In the nose, the defining wild berry and touch of peat that declare Devil's Gulch jump out, but each sniff brings different nuances: from cardamom to wild cherry to violets. In the mouth, the freshness that comes from great acid balance and moderate alcohol carries the dense wild blackberry fruit and sweetly resolved tannins through the long supple finish. This is a wine that will complement foods from simple cheese plates to complex rabbit, mushroom and risotto dishes. No doubt this special offering has a long life ahead of it, if one has the willpower (or stash) to hold on to some. One of Jeff's favorite wines. 90 points, Burghound.
About Dutton-Goldfield Dutton-Goldfield makes distinctive wines that display brightness of fruit, complexity, structure and balance, reflective of cool climate Northern California vineyards.
Dutton-Goldfield Winery began with a handshake in a vineyard in 1998, when longtime colleagues and friends Steve Dutton and Dan Goldfield recognized a shared vision between them - to craft wines that express the personalities of their cool-climate vineyards, and which they'd enjoy drinking at their own dinner tables.
A fifth-generation farmer, Steve Dutton grew up with a love of driving tractors, and without any doubt about his future career. His father, Warren Dutton, had begun growing grapes in the western reaches of Russian River Valley in the mid-1960s, at a time when most people thought the area was too cool to grow fruit for quality still wine. Steve started working with his father when he was five years old, and joined Dutton Ranch full-time in 1987. Today, along with his mother and brother, he manages the family business, which has grown from its original 35-acre home shop vineyard to over 80 separate vineyards comprising more than 1,000 acres throughout western Russian River Valley.
After graduating from Boston's Brandeis University, Dan Goldfield headed west to begin a career in research chemistry, with a few detours for skiing and hiking on the way. Always an outdoor enthusiast, the life of lab work was quickly replaced with a dream of winemaking when his brother turned him on to the 1969 Burgundies. Dan entered the University of California at Davis, graduating with an M.S. in Enology in 1986. He gained knowledge on the job with stints at Robert Mondavi Winery and Schramsberg as well as winemaking in Portugal for two years.
He found his passion in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, first as the winemaker at the Burgundian-focused La Crema Winery, and then at Hartford Court, which was created under his direction. Dan's appreciation for the beauty of the extraordinary landscape around our home is reflected in his winemaking.
Recipe by Andy
Roast Duck Breast with Root Vegetables and Apples severs four
One of my favorite combinations - duck and pinot noir - is further complemented in this recipe with root vegetables and apples that are roasted in duck fat! Delicious! When buying duck breast, make sure the meat is a nice rosy pink. If it appears brown, the meat is no longer fresh. Good sources of quality duck meat are Libertyducks.com (Sonoma County), dartagnan.com, and other quality butchers.
* 2 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1 x 3 inch pieces
* 2 leeks, white part only, trimmed and cut into 1 x 3 inch pieces
* 8 baby carrots, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
* 2 tablespoons duck fat
* 2 fennel bulbs, quartered lengthwise
* 4 turnips, peeled and quartered
* 12 pearl onions, peeled
* 2 granny smith apples, cored
* 4 thyme sprigs
* 4 large duck breast, boneless
* salt and ground black pepper
Heat the oven to 375F.
Heat the duck fat in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the parsnips, leeks, carrots, fennel, turnips and pearl onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook, turning frequently, until the vegetables begin to brown. Transfer to a large baking dish and arrange in a single layer.
Roast in the oven, turning every 5 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften, about 30 minutes. Quarter the apples and add to the dish with the fresh thyme.
Meanwhile, place the duck breasts, skin-side up, on a cutting board. With a sharp knife make shallow crosshatch incisions in the fat-do not cut into the meat. Season the duck breasts and cook skin-side down over medium heat until the skins are crisp and most of the fat has rendered out. Turn and cook briefly on the flesh side, about 1 minute. Place the duck breasts on top of the vegetables, skin-side up and continue to roast until the meat is medium rare, about 5 minutes.
Transfer the duck breasts to a cutting board and allow to rest fro 5-8 minutes. Slice the breast lengthwise into long thin pieces and serve over the roasted vegetables and apples.