Dutton-Goldfield Winery2005 Zinfandel, Morelli Lane Vineyard
(Russian River Valley)
There may be no better match in the history of wine than the coldest of wind-raked vineyards of the western Russian River Valley and the temperament of winemaker Dan Goldfield.
Goldfield is one of those rare talents who firmly believes that the greatest wines are made from vines that struggle (an old French terroir argument), and when you team those two elements with the coldness of the harvest of 2005, the result is a brilliance that must be tasted to be believed.
Goldfield’s partnership with Steve Dutton gives him access to some of the best fruit in Sonoma County, and Goldfield’s love of the cooler western edge of the Russian River made this wine possible.
In the cold of 2005 came grapes that yielded a perfect synthesis wine, not as lean as a small number of high-acid versions, but with the black berry fruit, pepper, and spices rarely seen in such wines. The texture is perfect, with just over 14% alcohol to give the wine a trace of richness, but the mid-palate promises to deliver even more with a year or two more of time.
Only 257 cases of this wine were produced, and a bit more of the nearly as good 2005 Russian River Valley Zin, $30. The early-January release date may be a bit early, said Goldfield, but response to the (not quite as classic) 2004 Morelli Lane was so strong that the winery ran out in the summer.
Reviewed January 31, 2007 by Dan Berger.
Other Awards & Accolades
90 points -- Wine & Spirits
Great Barbecue Wine -- Sunset Magazine
91 points -- Connoisseur's Guide
Dan Berger has been reviewing wine for 30 years, always seeking character related to varietal type and regional identity. He has never used numbers to rank wine and doesn’t plan to start any time soon. He believes that weight and concentration aren’t the only worthy aspects of wine and is especially smitten by cool-climate and food-friendly wines that offer distinctiveness.