The homeland of Pinot Noir is in Burgundy, France-two hours southwest of Paris. There, the royal regions such as Pommard, Chevery Chambertain and Beaune, define the wines. California, in its much shorter history, is beginning to define its favorite Pinot Noir Regions as well. The Russian River is definitely at the top.
Dutton has graced the labels of many of the finest Pinot Noirs made in California for almost 40 years. The vineyard was founded by Joe Dutton's parents in 1964. It was just a few acres located in Western Sonoma's Russian River. Today, they have 80 vineyards, all of which are certified Sonoma County Sustainable.
Green Valley was one of the best kept secrets in California. Most of the early benchmark Pinot Noirs, like The Smothers Brothers and Marimar Torres came from Green Valley (a more specific sub-appelation), yet were labeled as Russian River, so few knew.
Like the unique regions of Burgundy, France, we know that this place is unique. Even the Duttons have a hard time explaining why Pinot Noir in Green Valley is so much more exciting than other places just a few yards away. It's the soil. it's the climate. Much like its French cousin, small changes in soil and climate create different and better wines.
There is all the elusiveness, femininity and grace we expect from this grape. Yet, there is also an underlying strength that grabs you after plush cherry, rose basket and spice have already captured you in their grip. Suffice to say that a Persian lamb stew or Argentine BBQ would serve nicely.