2012 DuMol "Chloe" Russian River Valley Chardonnay

SKU #1182419 96 points 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)  (12/2014)

94 points Vinous

 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)  (1/2015)

92 points Connoisseurs Guide

 *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.  (1/2015)

Wine Spectator

 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)

K&L Notes

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)

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Varietal:

Chardonnay

- 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, Mâcon, 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.
Country:

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.
Sub-Region:

California

- 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:

Alexander Valley/Russian River

- Among Sonoma County's northernmost appellations, the Alexander Valley AVA acts as a gateway to neighboring Napa to the east and Mendocino to the north. It is a sprawling appellation, with pockets of distinct microclimates and soils, and as such, is home to a variety of wine grapes and styles. Nearly everything grows in the Alexander Valley, though Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are the most widely planted grapes. The Russian River Valley lies to the south of Alexander Valley, and is marked by much cooler temperatures and frequently heavy fog. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grown here are some of the state's finest and most sought-after. Aromatic whites like Gewürztraminer and Riesling can also be successful, and sparkling wine production has a long history in the area.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.2