2009 DuMol Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1073850 90 points Connoisseurs Guide

 Ripe black-cherries are comfortably combined with a fair bit of toasty oak in vital young aromas of this nicely defined wine, and what is promised in the nose is delivered in kind by the plush, yet well-composed, flavors that follow. Like all of the very good 2009 DuMOL offerings, this one is simply brimming with fruit, but it needs to age past the tart edge of eleventh-hour acidity that presently cuts off its finish, and we recommend a wait of at least two or three years.  (2/2012)

90 points James Suckling

 A solid wine with dried strawberry and cherry character with hints of lemons and dried meat that follow through to a full body, with medium chewy tannins and a fruity finish. Robusto fruity style but some balance at the same time. Lovers of fruit-forward Pinot will like this. Better in 2013.  (6/2012)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 This is a very strong set of wines from DuMOL and winemaker Andy Smith. Like so many producers, DuMOL is in the midst of a stylistic shift that began around 2005. Smith described some of the estate’s earlier wines as a bit too heavy. Today’s approach emphasizes picking a bit earlier than in the past and places greater emphasis on complexity, structure and acidity.  (2/2012)

K&L Notes

DuMol's Russian River Pinot Noir contains about 30% DuMol estate fruit (from the winery's property in Green Valley) supplemented by grapes from other acclaimed vineyards across the Russian River Valley. Winemaker Andy Smith had a blast with the 2009 vintage, which was cooler than other recent years, saying that it's on track to be the winery's "favorite red wine vintage since we began in 1996." After sampling the 2009 Russian River Pinot Noir, we can understand why. The wine lures you in with a rhubarb and cherry-scented nose that incorporates tangy cranberry, sweet raspberry, anise and a root beer edge on the mid-palate. Plus there's lively acidity, fine tannins and a peppery kick on the finish to complete the package.

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Price: $69.99
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Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.

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.


- 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.
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.