2012 DuMol "Chloe" Russian River Valley Chardonnay
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
There are 1,020 cases of the 2012 Chardonnay Chloe (14.2% natural alcohol) which is sourced from the Ritchie Vineyard and represents the oldest vines, having been planted in 1972. It sees about 45% new French oak but you would never know that based on the sensational richness, texture and flavor profiles where the oak plays a minor role. Copious notes of white peach, apricot marmalade, honeysuckle, brioche and subtle hazelnuts jump from the glass of this beauty. Good acidity buttresses the wine’s broad, powerful mouthfeel, providing freshness as well as delineation. It should drink well for a decade or more. (RP)
Soft, floral and lifted, the 2012 Chardonnay Chloe Ritchie Vineyard is all about understatement and class. Nothing in particular stands out; rather it is the wine's exceptional balance that is front and center. Soft, nuanced and wonderfully expressive in the glass, the 2012 is a winner. White peach, pear, white flowers and mint are laced into the soft, inviting finish. 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. (AG)
*Two Stars* Yet another outstanding effort in DuMOL's 2012 Chardonnay portfolio, this time from the storied Kent Ritchie Vineyard, the 'Chloe' is a precise, keenly focused working that impresses for both its richness and its great energy. It is firm, full-bodied and exceptionally well-balanced with a light trim of toast to its very pure fruit, and, while deep and expressive, it is still on the tight side in structure. It is a wine that deserves a special place in the cellars, and it is certain to make converts of those skeptics who doubt Chardonnay's potential to age.
A touch raw and pithy, with lemon peel, grapefruit and green apple notes. This is clean and refreshing, and likely to gain with cellaring. Drink now through 2020. (JL, Web-2015)
Robert Parker writes: "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. They have been consistent from the beginning with winemaker Andy Smith, who has a brilliant record not only at DuMol, but at several other estates where he is the full-time winemaker, particularly the Napa Valley estate of Larkmead, just north of St. Helena." (12/2013)