2013 Dumol "Connor-Joy Road Vineyard" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
*Two Stars* Over the years, DuMOL has been among the most consistently successful makers of expressive Pinot Noir, and these from the 2013 vintage buttress our long-held fondness for their wines. The "connor" wins top honors this year by dint of its fruity depth, its deft use of sweet oak and its altogether beguiling richness, and it earns an extra deep bow of appreciation for its altogether impeccable balance. It is, in short, a complete and involving look at the grape, and it will not approach its very best until its tenth birthday nears.
DuMol's 2013 Pinot Noir Connor Joy Road Vineyard is deep, fleshy and expressive, with plenty of succulent fruit that gives so much of its characteristic immediacy. Sweet red cherry, pomegranate, spices and wild flowers meld into the juicy finish laced with attractive rose petal and floral overtones. This is a strong set of new releases from DuMOL. Winemaker Andy Smith has really dialed in his approach here over the last few years, and it shows. Harvest dates have been moved up, while in general Smith is seeking a bit more freshness in his wines than was the case a few years ago. That is especially true of the Chardonnays, which now also spend eleven months in barrel followed by six months in tank, a fairly classic aging regime today in Burgundy that is less common in California. Smith has also introduced two new Cabernets, with more to follow. As readers probably know, Smith made the wines at Larkmead for years, so Cabernet is intimately familiar. The first wines are quite impressive. (AG)
Clean, fresh and deftly balanced, exhibiting lively, snappy wild berry, cherry and raspberry flavors at the core, with fine-grained, mineral-laced tannins and a mouthwatering aftertaste. Drink now through 2019. 425 cases made. (JL)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2013 Pinot Noir Connor from a Sonoma Coast site with multiple clones, was aged 15 months in 30% new French oak. This wine offers good, tart acids and a hint of Chinese black tea. It is medium-bodied, high-toned, with good, pure sweet and sour cherry fruit and some loamy notes along with underbrush. Drink it over the next 5-7 years. DuMOL is one of the more admirable wineries in Northern California, specializing primarily in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, but with some intriguing Syrahs, a super Viognier, and as of the last several years, two Cabernet Sauvignons. Kerry Murphy is the long-time owner and partner with his winemaker, Scotsman Andy Smith. The change they have been implementing over the last several years is to pick slightly less ripe, then move their wines into tank for three months or more prior to bottling. In some cases, this has given the wines less intensity and exuberance, but this seems to be the stylistic direction they are committed. (RP)