By: George Balling
We just held a tasting here at the shop with DuMol Winery from the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County. For regular readers of this column, you know our fondness for wines from “The Russian” after our time living in Sonoma County and more specifically my time at Balletto Vineyards. To us it is one of the most magical appellations of any wine region in the world, perfectly suited for the varietals that are planted there. Mary and I always get the question of what our favorite wine is, which of course is unanswerable, but digging a bit deeper on the wines we truly love we would place DuMol in our top 3 favorites from anywhere, to us the wines are that good.
By most any standard DuMol is a small winery with capacity for 20,000 cases and only about 15,000 being produced in recent years. By California standards it is tiny, and is one of the things that makes the wines sought after since they offer the quality that is nearly without compare, to go along with small production. Much of the winery production is focused on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, not surprisingly the two grapes that do the absolute best in the climate conditions of Western Sonoma County. They also produce small amount of Syrah, Cabernet, Chenin Blanc and Mencia, nice diverse addons that in no way distract from the focus on the Burgundian specialties.
The wines are spendy by all of our standards, but I will willingly tell you that the wines are very fairly priced for the wine that is delivered in each and every sip. Here are the tasting notes from the event.
2021 DuMol Wester Reach Russian River Valley Chardonnay – Like all of the wines from the DuMol this elegant and silky Chardonnay shows an exquisite balance between intensity of flavors and restraint of extraordinary fruit. The aromas show layered notes of saline minerality and fruit aromas of nectarine and orange. The palate delivers flavors of green apple and broiled citrus. The finish hints of a buttery richness with a silky elegance that is remarkable. Pair with grilled “Junior League” Halibut. $75, Wine Club Price $67.50
2020 DuMol Wester Reach Russian River Valley Pinot Noir – The Russian River Valley remains one of our favorite appellations for both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, it is the reason terroir is terroir and this one in particular is built for Burgundian Varietals. The inclusion of some Dutton Ranch grapes in this blend of vineyards is a reminiscent touchstone for me having worked with Steve Dutton. The aromas show all the classic essence of red and black cherry along with fresh raspberry and subtle earthiness. The palate through the finish shows age worthiness and lush fruit flavors of cherry framed by near perfect acid and sleek tannins. Pair with rotisserie chicken. $100, Wine Club Price $90
2020 DuMol Wild Mountainside Russian River Valley Syrah – The DuMol Syrah presents with opulent fruit both in the aromatics and palate flavors. On the nose the wine shows blue fruit aromas of blackberry and boysenberry as well as classic savory notes of dried herbs and a touch of meatiness. The palate delivers a punch of fruit right from the start focused on blue fruit just like the aromatic profile. The palate shows extraordinary mouth feel and weight with a silky and unified finish. Pair with braised pork shoulder or rack of lamb. $85, Wine Club Price $76.50
2019 DuMol Napa Valley Cabernet – There are vintages in Napa where greatness follows greatness in subsequent years, with at times the later year getting lost in accolades of the previous one. So goes the story of 2019 and 2018. ’18 Was an epic year that continues to present with remarkable quality, ’19 followed and was every bit the measure of ’18 in most every way except for the size of the harvest. This 2019 Cabernet will convince all of us of the noteworthiness of the vintage. The wine is blue and black fruit focused with aromas and palate flavors of crushed Italian and Black Friar plums. Back notes of the aromatic profile show tobacco, bay leaf and a light floral note. The palate delivers flavors of cassis and black cherry. The finish shows sleek, but youthful tannins showing a great ability to age this gem of a wine. Pair with grilled thick steak “Chiarello”. $140, Wine Club Price $126
You probably notice our enthusiasm for the wines from our notes, it is not overstated. We will have the wines around for a bit, although with the production of some of them being under a thousand cases there is not much available. We hope you can come by and pick some of these gems up for your special occasions.