2012 DuMol Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
he 2012 Pinot Noir Russian River, which comes from 7 different vineyards and multiple clones, is the largest cuvée, 4,775 cases. Notes of forest floor, wild strawberries, sweet raspberries and cherries notes in addition to roasted meats and herbs are all present in this gorgeous, perfumed, medium to full-bodied, silky textured, pure Pinot Noir. This big-time winner stands up to the single-vineyard bottlings. Drink it over the next decade or more.
A gorgeous entry-level wine, DuMOL's 2012 Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley) is laced with sweet red berries, rose petals, mint and cinnamon. The flavors are bright, focused and lifted throughout. The 2012 doesn't quite have the exuberance of most Russian River Pinots, and will therefore appeal to readers who appreciate a more restrained style of Russian River Pinot. I was deeply impressed with the wines I tasted at DuMol this year. Winemaker Andy Smith is no longer at Larkmead and is now solely focused on DuMol, which can only be a good thing for these wines. Many of the 2012s, the Pinots in particular, were even better from bottle than they were from barrel last year. The 2012 Pinots spent more time in barrel than normal, and for the most part benefited from the longer elevage. Unfortunately I was not able to taste the 2013 Pinots as they were bottled earlier than normal, just before my visit. DuMol and Andy Smith fans can look forward to two Cabernets starting with the 2014 vintage; the first is from the Montecillo vineyard in Sonoma, while the second is likely to be a blend from two top Napa Valley sites. DuMol occupies a pretty solid position in the middle of the stylistic spectrum, which is one of the reasons they are so delicious. In my view, these wines have never been better.
**Two Stars** If not especially outgoing to start and, in fact, taking a bit of time to evolve in the nose, this impressive young Pinot nevertheless smacks of seriousness from the first. It is concentrated and still fairly reserved with the tighter aspects of a wine not quite ready for prime time, but all of its many parts are seamlessly fit, and its finish is remarkably long and sustained. Its careful construction and depth ensure great things to come, but time in the bottle is an absolute must, and pouring it before its fifth or sixth birthday would be a shame.
A tight, seductive style, with subtle jazzy oak notes woven into the ripe plum and blueberry flavors. The tannins close in on the finish. Drink now through 2021.
DuMol was established in 1996 by Kerry Murphy and Michael Verlander. Andy Smith joined as winemaker in 2000 and partner in 2005. Most of the grapes are sourced from the Green Valley appellation where DuMOL has a 25-acre Estate Vineyard, with other grape sources originating in the Russian River Valley, Sonoma Coast and Carneros. Since the beginning, DuMol has striven to make well balanced wines. Known for their Pinot Noir and Chardonnays, they also do small amounts of Syrah and Viognier. For much of the winery's existence, the wines have generally been sold direct or to restaurants. With the growth of production, we are finally seeing the wines available to retail. The 2012 Russian River Valley Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are perfect expressions of the Russian River Valley. We are lucky enough to get a generous allocation of the wines and hope you enjoy them as much as we do.