2010 DuMol Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
Despite leaning to ripeness in its initial aromas, this wine comes with plenty of black cherry fruit in tow and adds in distinct oaky richness and a quiet walnut-like note. It is medium-full-bodied in palate weight and turns out to be lighter on its feet than first impressions seem to advise, and its near-supple texture and nicely crafted fruit hold it in good stead through to a balanced, mid-depth finish.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The entry-level 2010 Pinot Noir is big, juicy and exuberant. There is no shortage of fruit in this flashy Pinot. The 2010 is a terrific effort considering its production of 4,600 cases. It is ideally enjoyed over the next few years. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2018. Winemaker Andy Smith describes 2009 as a “sweet, forward vintage,” while 2011 is more “dynamic and commercial.” Smith reserves his highest praise for 2010, which he calls his favorite among the three current vintages. In 2011, Smith bulked out 20% of his Pinot Noirs, including the entire production of the Eoin. All the 2011 Pinots came in before the rains. Smith used whole clusters only for the Aidan, as botrytis was an issue in all the other Pinot vineyards. The Charles Heintz Chardonnay came in after the rains. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to taste the 2011 Syrahs, as the final blends had not yet been put together at the time of this tasting. In broad terms, the DuMol Chardonnays are all fermented and aged in barrel, with no lees stirring. Some of the wines are aged in slightly larger 300-liter barrels, and at times the malolactic fermentations are partly blocked, which results in wines that are texturally rich but also full of energy, a combination that is rare and hard to achieve.
This 2010 Russian River Pinot Noir from DuMol is a blend of 34% Dutton Ranch, 16% Gunsalus, 12% DuMOL Estate, 10% Abbott, 8% Hansel, 8% Joy Rd, 6% Greywacke, and 6% Sonoma Stage. The clusters were hand-harvested and sorted in the vineyard and again sorted at the winery before native yeast fermentation. The wine then spent 11 months in 35% new French oak. From winemaker Andy Smith: "Bright ruby red. Warm, inviting aromas draw you in: bright and lively then dark and complex. Wild cherry, fresh raspberry, sassafras and grilled meat. Complex tobacco and cocoa notes. Juicy palate entry then a fine interplay between red and black fruits. Black tea, cranberry and apple skin tartness. Darker woodsy-truffle notes. Broad silky texture develops with air but always framed by muscular enveloping tannins." The 2009 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir garnered 90 points from James Suckling and Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine.