2010 DuMol "Chloe" Russian River Valley Chardonnay (1.5L)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(from 38-year-old vines in the Ritchie Vineyard; all old Wente clone; 50% new oak): Bright green-gold. A flamboyant bouquet offers candied citrus fruits, white peach and pear nectar, along with honey, vanilla and ginger notes. A smoky mineral quality comes up with air and carries onto the palate, energizing the wine's deep orchard and pit fruit flavors. Shows a suave blend of richness and vivacity, finishing sappy, focused and very long.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2010 Chardonnay Chloe Ritchie Vineyard is direct and focused from start to finish. There is a distinct pointedness to the 2010 that is impossible to miss. Some of the other DuMol Chardonnays are richer and more voluptuous, but the Ritchie is much more linear in style, at least today. It will be interesting to see where this goes over the coming years. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2020.
A potent and richly flavored wine, slow to reveal the core of ripe fig, green apple and honeydew melon flavors, with a long, persistent finish. Drink now through 2019.
Rich, but fairly direct and showing just a slight drift to dryness in both its aromas and flavors, this supple, full-bodied bottling is a bit less continuous than the winery's best efforts. While a tasty wine with plenty of near-term appeal, it strikes us as being one that will show its best while still young and we would tag it for drinking with the likes of lobster and salmon over the next year or two. It is a fine Chardonnay by any and all measures, and it impresses more than a bit on its own.
Grapes for the Chloe bottling were hand-harvested in early October from the Ritchie Vineyard, which is also an important Chardonnay vineyard for producers such as Aubert and Paul Hobbs. The wine was barrel fermented on native yeast and aged for 15 months in 50% new French oak. From the winemaker's notes: "Brilliant pale yellow gold color. Richly aromatic: Nectarine, orange marmalade, mango, a subtle edge of fragrant lilies. Broad intense fruit richness, white peach, citrus oil, toasted nuts, almond paste, brioche. Real sense of thrusting power, but perfect balance between pulsating fruit and precise acidity. Lemon zest finish. Serve at no cooler than 55 degrees and drink between 2012 and 2018."