2012 DuMol "Isobel" Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

SKU #1182418 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2012 Chardonnay Isobel (980 cases) comes from 31-year-old vines planted in the Charles Heintz Vineyard, and spent 13 months in 39% new oak. It offers classic notes of tangerine oil, apple blossoms, caramelized citrus and a wet stone minerality. Full-bodied with terrific fruit purity and a subtle hint of oak, it should drink well for 7-8 years. The clonal material is California clone 4.  (12/2014)

92 points Vinous

 The 2012 Chardonnay Isobel Charles Heintz Vineyard is quite delicate and soft, with attractive yellow stone fruits, spices, mint, chamomile and wild flowers. The 2012 can be enjoyed today or cellared for a handful of years. Subtlety and nuance are the signatures. Charles Heintz has the lowest acidity of the Chardonnay sites DuMOL works with, which gives the wine much of its openness and early accessibility. Today, the Isobel is a bit less expressive than it was last year. 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.  (1/2015)

Connoisseurs Guide

 *One Star* Very much showing the brisk, mineral-tinged fruit and the slight inner tightness that its cool provenance predicts, this effort from the Charles Heintz Vineyard is again a Chardonnay whose best lies ahead. It juxtaposes a good deal of rich oak against themes of citrus and green apples, and, while sure to improve, it ends with a slight rise in heat that calls into question its chances of finding beauty and grace as it unfolds.  (1/2015)

Jancis Robinson

 The DuMol Isobel offers delicate aromatics, flavour intensity with deft length, mouthwatering acidity, and nice focus. Accents of fresh greenery, citrus oils, and light white pepper filled through with a refreshing saline crunch. Will continue to develop with age.  (1/2015)

Wine Spectator

 Firm and rich, this is centered on tangerine, nectarine and white peach flavors that are slow to unfold, ending with subtle touches of cedar and vanilla. Drink now through 2020. 980 cases made.  (4/2015)

K&L Notes

"Since its founding in 1996, DuMol has been one of the superstar wineries of the entire California North Coast. They primarily focus on gorgeous Burgundian-styled Chardonnays from cool micro-climates as well as Pinot Noirs, with the added attraction of one Viognier and one or two Syrahs." Robert Parker

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- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, M√Ęcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).
Alcohol Content (%): 14.1