DuMOL Isobel Chardonnay 2008
Chardonnay from Russian River, California
The 2008 Isobel release is destined to be one of the very finest bottlings to date and is wonderfully evocative of this unique vineyard site. It naturally combines Californian richness with coastal structure and a real sense of Burgundian aromatic complexity.
A slightly above average crop level allowed the grapes to hang on the vine into late September without building sugar ripeness too rapidly. We made an early harvest pass on the west side of the vineyard where the shallowest soils & smallest grapes are found. A week later we ventured into the eastern block at a slightly higher ripeness level with a view to blending these two components. The final blend is a 30/70% blend of these two picks, which best represents the vineyard's excellent performance in this great chardonnay vintage.
Most closely similar in profile to the 2005 Isobel bottling, the wine's immense aromatic complexity is at the heart of its greatness and I would expect the wine to develop increased nuanced richness with five to seven years in bottle.
The Wine Advocate - "The 2008 Chardonnay Isobel (all from the Charles Heintz Vineyard's 27-year old vines) exhibits a light straw/green hue as well as a stunning nose of caramelized lemons, orange blossoms, nectarines and hints of tropical fruits and honeysuckle. Full-bodied, rich, concentrated and powerful, it should drink well for 7-8 years."
International Wine Cellar - "Greenish gold. Higher in pitch than the Clare, displaying intense, mineral-dominated citrus and spice aromas, along with notes of licorice and white pepper. Lively acidity adds lift to fresh orange and pear flavors, with a late note of iodine adding complexity. Finishes juicy and long, with a resonating note of gingerbread. This is complex enough to enjoy now but has the spine and concentration to age."
Wine Spectator - "Very ripe and complex, offering exotic tropical fruit flavors, with guava, pineapple, peach and floral scents. Full-bodied, deep and concentrated, ending with baked fruit flavors. Drink now through 2017."
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DuMOL's 25 acre sustainably farmed Estate Vineyard is located on an undulating east-facing slope of one of the appellation's famous ridgelines. From this classic site and in tandem with some of the coastal area's finest growers, DuMOL crafts wines that fully capture the aromatics, flavors and textures that exemplify their vineyard sites and varietals character in the purest and most precise form. View all DuMOL Wines
About Russian RiverView a map of Russian River wineries
The Russian River Valley is named as such due to its proximity to the Russian River, the river itself named for the Russian fur traders who came down from Alaska in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The Russian River is agricultural land. While there is a focus on wine, beyond the vineyards are many small, family-owned farms cultivating everything from cattle to Christmas trees.
Notable FactsThe proximity of this cool river and the rolling fogs from the Pacific Ocean make the area amenable to cool-climate grapes like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. In fact, the region is quite known for its full-bodied, yet elegant Pinot Noir, as well as their ripe, yet lean Chardonnays. Within Russian River Valley lie the smaller appellations of Chalk Hill and Green Valley. Chalk Hill is the warmer of the two and furthest from the ocean, while Green Valley is cooler and closer to the water.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.