The Dutton family planted Freestone Hill in 1996 and 1997, just before Steve Dutton teamed up with winemaker Dan Goldfield to launch Dutton-Goldfield. Like many of the vineyards in the Freestone area, Freestone Hill is heavily influenced by the Petaluma Gap to the south, which brings regular inundations of coastal wind and fog. The relatively sunny 2012 vintage grew a firm, forceful pinot noir at Freestone Hill, a wine that lasts on a beam of red cherry fruit and a green, fresh scent that feels like a distillation of redwood fronds. The layers of fruit and the savory structure integrate with air in a beautiful, complex pinot noir that could only come from Sonoma’s coastal hills. (613 cases)
From a coastal vineyard in the southwest corner of the Russian River Valley, this is earthy and brambly on the nose, inviting in its sense of wild abandon. Concentrated yet vibrant in acidity, the flavors lean toward cranberry and tart cherry, completely enveloped in intriguing cardamom spice. Elegant and balanced.
A ripe yet cool and admirably pure nose offers up a broad array of spice elements that add plenty of breadth to the plummy dark pinot fruit scents. I very much like the textured mouth feel to the medium weight flavors that possess solid mid-palate concentration while delivering excellent depth and persistence on the balanced finale. Like the Devil's Gulch, this will definitely need a few years of cellar time as it's quite youthfully firm.
Full medium red. Brooding aromas of boysenberry, blackberry, licorice and exotic spices are lifted by violet and orange peel notes. Intensely flavored but a bit youthfully imploded, showing a medicinal reserve to its purple fruit and herb flavors. Not especially fleshy or sweet today but lively and firmly built, finishing with fine-grained tannins. This very promising pinot needs time in bottle to expand.
Collectively, the Dutton Goldfield Pinots are not an especially outgoing bunch, and they strike us as being still hampered by youth. Here, again, is a wine that leads with a nice sense of well-defined black cherry fruit and, despite starting out fairly beamy and ripe, gets a touch tight and tough towards the finish. It keeps a firm grasp on fruit nonetheless and in so doing counts persistence and length as important assets, and it has the filling, the structure and the spine to improve over the next four or five years.
The 2012 Pinot Noir Freestone Hill Vineyard, their most expensive wine, comes from a south-facing vineyard, again hillside, overlooking the tiny village of Freestone. From all Dijon clones, the spiciness that seems to emerge from this sector is well-presented in this wine, with plenty of loamy soil notes, baking spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, and possibly clove. The wine displays plenty of sweet black cherry fruit as well as plums, even leaning toward blacker cherries and raspberries. There’s actually a floral note that also appears in this complex Pinot Noir, which should be drunk over the next 5-6 years.
Offers a mix of pure raspberry and cherry flavors, with gravel-laced tannins, ending with solid tannic grip and a persistent fruit finish. Drink now through 2022. 613 cases made.
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