DuMOL Chloe Ritchie-Lorenzo Old Vines Chardonnay 2014
Orange blossom, orange marmalade, peach and nectarine, prosciutto and melon. Oyster shell freshness and wet stone minerals. Sweet and pliant fruit-filled palate. Real depth and extract. Honey and baking spice. The deep, deep flavors linger long on the layered rising whistle-clean finish. Great pedigree. As usual the broadest, richest and most Californian of our four classic designate chardonnays, and in some stylistic regards, the natural partner to Ryan Pinot Noir – why not pair them together over a long leisurely dinner? There’s a power here and deep booming resonance that comes from low-yielding old vines planted in shallow marine-based soils with just the right amount of clay to give body and roundness. It’s a very aristocratic wine which is why there’s a legion of other producers lining up to work with these two special vineyards, such is their quality and reputation. We are among the first to harvest our respective section of each vineyard as we’re focused on a style that harmonizes the broad richness these vines naturally wish to produce, with the delicate savory elements that provide lift, freshness and detail. This way the final wine doesn’t become heavy or fat at all. We get the best of both worlds, depth and character but airy and intense – all in proportion, no awkward edges. Rich, broad and powerful fruit-driven wine with old vine sinew and a clean mineral spine. Lots of nuance and detail.
Respect for the land
DuMOL is a “vineyard up” winery with a fully integrated approach to winegrowing and winemaking. DuMOL planted its high-density estate vineyards and has farmed many of California’s most renowned vineyards for more than two decades.
Commitment to craft
DuMOL sticks to what works and is focused on the fundamentals, finding inspiration in master, visionary producers around the world as DuMOL continually hones its craft—never imitating, ever refining.
Connected on a personal level
This is a project that comes from who the DuMOL team is and what they love. A deep connection is paramount: to the land, the wines, and the customers.
Heritage and experience
Founded in 1996, DuMOL is a latter-day pioneer in the Russian River Valley. Winemaker, Viticulturist and Partner, Andy Smith, farmed the region for nearly a decade before joining in 1999, and Associate Winemakers Julie Cooper and Jenna Davis, and Cellar Master Jaime Eufracio, have over 40 years combined experience at DuMOL.
A standout region for its decidedly Californian take on Burgundian varieties, the Russian River Valley is named for the eponymous river that flows through it. While there are warm pockets of the AVA, it is mostly a cool-climate growing region thanks to breezes and fog from the nearby Pacific Ocean.
Chardonnay and Pinot Noir reign supreme in Russian River, with the best examples demonstrating a unique combination of richness and restraint. The cool weather makes Russian River an ideal AVA for sparkling wine production, utilizing the aforementioned varieties. Zinfandel also performs exceptionally well here. Within the Russian River Valley lie the smaller appellations of Chalk Hill and Green Valley. The former, farther from the ocean, is relatively warm, with a focus on red and white Bordeaux varieties. The latter is the coolest, foggiest parcel of the Russian River Valley and is responsible for outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.