I can’t say I’ve tasted many wines from California’s Marin County over the years. Marin for me is the scenic, Gucci-hippie oceanside territory I drive through on my way from San Francisco to wine country. Marin is not “wine country.”
But it can make some nice Riesling. Case in point: Dutton Goldfield’s 2016 Riesling from Chileno Valley Vineyard ($30, 327 cases produced). From a 25-year-old vineyard, this wine is dry but not tart; it has ripe tree fruit flavors of apricot and quince, and a talc-like minerality that evokes Austrian Riesling or Grüner Veltliner. And regular readers will know how much I love Austrian wines. The DG is soft in its acidity, yet dry. It’s a good conversationalist — by which I mean it engages you rather than simply talking at you. You know how some people — er, I mean wines — seem all-out determined to convince you how brilliant they are? This wine is brilliant, but it knows you have something to add to the conversation. I’ll stop there before I start raving about a wine’s emotional IQ. Kudos to grower Mark Pasternak and winemakers Dan Goldfield and Jeff Restel, for their emotional IQ.