VOLUME 9, ISSUE 24
May 5, 2013
ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE:
Cork Dork Etude: Inspired Wines of the Carneros the Gardener: Got Organic Grapes? Bravium: Relish the Acidity Rivers-Marie: 2010 & 2011 Reflect the Challenges of Farming on the Edge Dunstan Wines from Durell Vineyard Foursight Wines: Family Excels with Pinot COBB Wines: No Wine Before Its Time Sips of Pinot: Wines Tasted Recently Rosé and Chardonnay: Recently Sampled Wines Pinot Briefs
Premium Pinot Noir and Chardonnay made exclusively from the Ranch House Block at Durell Vineyard. The name Dunstan and its horseshoe logo were inspired by the Durell Vineyard. When planting the vineyard, an old and very large horseshoe was found and considered it an omen of good luck. They named the wine Dunstan after the blacksmith, who according to legend, forced the Devil to never enter a home with a horseshoe hanging over the door.
Ellie Phipps Price bought the Durell Vineyard in 1998 from Ed Durell who had acquired the land in 1977. Durell hired vineyard manager Steve Hill and planted grapes which they began selling to Sonoma County wineries in 1982. There are now over 20 wineries producing Durell Vineyard-designated wines including Chasseur, Chateau St. Jean, Kistler and Pali. The Durell Vineyard stretches across three overlapping appellations: Sonoma Coast, Sonoma Valley and a small corner of Carneros.
In 2005, Price replanted the 8.5-acre Ranch House Block at Durell. Located at the southern end of the Durell Vineyard, the site includes 3.5 acres of Wente clone Chardonnay and 5 acres of 115, 667, 828 clones and Calera and Swan selections. The first vintage of Dunstan Pinot Noir was 2008. All clones will be included in the Dunstan Pinot Noir beginning with the 2010 vintage.
The Dunstan team has been making wines together under the Sand Hill at Durell Vineyard label. Don van Staaveren, who was the winemaker at Chateau St. jean from 1985 through 1997, began making the Sand Hill wines from their inaugural 2002 vintage. In 2011, Kenneth Juhasz (Auteur, Pali, Donum Estate, Robert Stemmler) became the winemaker, assisted by associate winemaker Dan Fishman (and the Pip Wines label which offers a crisp, light Chardonnay).
The vineyard is open by appointment for tours and tasting (707-933-3839). The Dunstan wines are allocated through a mailing list and sold through the Dunstan online store.
Articles About Dunstan Wines
2012 California Pinot Noir All-Americans Honorable Mention (9.17 12/26/2012)
Along the Pinot Trail in California: Part 2 - North Coast & Other (9.8 6/24/2012)
Dunstan Wines from Durell Vineyard (9.24 5/5/2013)
On the Pinot Event Trail (9.3 2/22/2012)
Recommended Chardonnays (9.5 4/4/2012)
Three Sticks Durell Vineyard (8.45 11/1/2011)
2010 Dunstan Durell Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
14.1% alc., pH 3.50, TA 0.80, 291 cases, $50. A blend of all five clones in the Ranch House Block. Aged 14 months in French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Pleasingly aromatic with scents of dark berries, toasty oak and mushrooms on the grill. Impressive mid palate attack of dark red and black berry fruit with a hint of brandy-soaked cherries. A little earthiness adds to the appeal. With a satisfying fullness on the palate, full ripeness, and a long finish, this wine aims to please. On top of that, it has a uniqueness that sets it apart. Reviewed May 5, 2013 ARTICLE »
2009 Dunstan Durell Vineyard Carneros Chardonnay
14.4% alc., $39.95. · Golden yellow color and clear in the glass. Oak-driven aromas of toffee, butterscotch, allspice and mocha java with baked pear in the background. Tasty middleweight flavors of baked pear, baked apple, honey, oak toast and minerals with good fullness and roundness. The heavy oak influence is not for me personally, but the wine is well crafted in its style. Good (+). Reviewed April 4, 2012 ARTICLE »
2009 Dunstan Durell Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
14.5% alc., pH 3.70, TA 0.63, 231 cases, $50. Second vintage from Ranch House Block at Durell Vineyard. A blend of 115, 667, 828 clones and Calera and Swan selections. Aged 16 months in 50% new French oak barrels. Placed second out of 460 Pinot Noirs tasted at the 10th Annual Pinot Noir Summit in 2012. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Evocative nose offering aromas of spiced black cherries, black cap raspberries, sassafras and oak, picking up interest and intensity over time in the glass. Offers moderately dense and very ripe flavors of dark cherries and berries with notes of tea and vanilla. Soft in the mouth, almost creamy, with silky tannins and amazing length on the generous finish. Simply delicious. Top notch. Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »
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