2014 DuMol "Isobel-Charles Heintz Vineyard" Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
DuMol's Chardonnay Isobel Charles Heintz Vineyard is bright, focused and vibrant on the palate, with a real sense of energy that balances the inherent richness that is so typical of this site. Apricot, peach, chamomile, sweet floral and lightly tropical notes form an attractive fabric of aromas, flavors and nuances. This is a lovely showing. The window of picking at Charles Heintz was quite long in 2014 and stretched for nearly two weeks. 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. (AG)
***2 Stars*** Immediately impressing as being the brightest and zestiest of the DuMOL bunch, this year's Isobel is a deep, yet somewhat unevolved and relatively nervy Chardonnay whose youth is obvious. It is solidly fruited and conveys a fine sense of richness albeit a little tight-fisted at this point, and it is not just a wine that will age extremely well, it is one that is best left in the cellar for the time being and absolutely mandates another few years of waiting.