2014 Lutum "Durell Vineyard" Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Starting with the two Chardonnays from the Sonoma Coast AVA, the 2014 Chardonnay Durell Vineyard is a flat out gorgeous beauty that has classic notes of cream corn, apple blossom and sautéed lemons. Rich, textured, impeccably balanced and long, it will drink well for a decade or more. This 2014 spent 12 months in 30% new French oak, and there are a little over 1,000 cases. A partnership between Bill Price (who owns a number of vineyards including Durell Vineyard, Trip Vineyard, DuPont Vineyard, One Sky Vineyard, Walala Vineyard and Gap’s Crown Vineyard) and Gavin Chanin, Lutum focuses on single vineyard Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays from a number of top sites in California. Chanin is a terrific winemaker (don't miss his wines releases under his own label, which are reviewed in this report) and these elegant, impressive wines lean towards the fresher, leaner end of the spectrum, without conceding too much in terms of texture and richness. These are highly recommended. (JD)
The 2014 Chardonnay Durell Vineyard captures all the phenolic intensity that is so typical of this renowned Sonoma site. A vertical, intense wine, the Durell is also the most structured and outright powerful Chardonnay Gavin Chanin makes. This is an impressive set of wines from Lutum and Gavin Chanin. As always Lutum sources fruit from a number of properties in Santa Barbara and Sonoma, which gives the range a good bit of breadth. Pinot Noir is the main player in this lineup. Broadly speaking, the Lutum Pinots are made in a bigger, richer style than the wines Chanin makes under his own brand. That is attributable to vinifications with fully destemmed fruit as well as a selection of sites and blocks that tend to naturally produce slightly bigger wines. (AG)
Wine & Spirits
Vintner Gavin Chanin draws from the oldest Chardonnay vines at Durell, planted in 2001 on light clay mixed with tufa and sand. This isn’t a wine for the oak-shy, but the fruit underneath is luxurious and intoxicating, melding a sunny peach flavor with something more evasive, like the scent of pollen-a meadow in bloom. It’s a regal Chardonnay for crab or lobster.
This wine smacks you in the face first thing, demanding attention, before settling into mouthwateringly succulent layers of Asian pear, graham cracker and Nilla wafer. An underbelly of oak supports the fruit, remaining subtle and providing structure. The acidity shines most on the finish, inviting further exploration. (VB)