2007 Chardonnay Russian River Valley

Robert M Parker Jr.'s, The Wine Advocate
Points: 90-93

A blend of different vineyards, their 2007 Chardonnay Russian River might turn out to be one of the best Chardonnays they have made under this moniker. Crisp acids, beautiful lemon butter notes intermixed with brioche and orange/nectarine notes are all present in this full-bodied wine, with the oak pushed well into the background. This is a beauty that should drink nicely for 3-4 years.

(Not yet released)

This is one of the superstar sources of tremendous Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and increasingly, Syrah and a tiny bit of Viognier. Proprietor Kerry Murphy and his brilliant winemaker, Andy Smith, are huge fans of Burgundy and have searched out some of the coolest climate regions of the Russian River and Sonoma Coast to produce these wines, which all show impressive aging potential, although certainly the 2006s, now that they are in bottle, are decidedly less impressive wines overall than the lofty heights that were achieved in 2004, 2005, and of course, 2007. Tasting through the 2006 Chardonnays proves that DuMOL did as good a job as anyone in this vintage, but the wines seem to have lost some of their exuberance in going from barrel to bottle. The 2007s, products of a very cool growing year as well as some of the best fruit that winemaker Andy Smith has ever seen come into the winery, look terrific. About one-third of the entire Pinot Noir production from DuMOL was sold off in 2006 because of the difficulties of heat spikes and botrytis. The wines in bottle are somewhat more muted and decidedly less impressive than I had hoped they would be, and to me seem well behind the brilliant quality of the 2005s and 2004s, or the promising 2007s. When I asked the winemaker, Andy Smith, about percentages of oak and pH levels for the 2007s, he told me that most of the 2007 Pinot Noirs were in the 3.4-3.5 pH range, which is relatively low. The percentage of new oak for all the Pinots was around 40-50%. As for the Chardonnays, rarely did they exceed 60% new oak, and most of that is largely concealed by the richness of those wines.

Points: 90-93

A blend of different vineyards, their 2007 Chardonnay Russian River might turn out to be one of the best Chardonnays they have made under this moniker. Crisp acids, beautiful lemon butter notes intermixed with brioche and orange/nectarine notes are all present in this full-bodied wine, with the oak pushed well into the background. This is a beauty that should drink nicely for 3-4 years.

(Not yet released)

This is one of the superstar sources of tremendous Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and increasingly, Syrah and a tiny bit of Viognier. Proprietor Kerry Murphy and his brilliant winemaker, Andy Smith, are huge fans of Burgundy and have searched out some of the coolest climate regions of the Russian River and Sonoma Coast to produce these wines, which all show impressive aging potential, although certainly the 2006s, now that they are in bottle, are decidedly less impressive wines overall than the lofty heights that were achieved in 2004, 2005, and of course, 2007. Tasting through the 2006 Chardonnays proves that DuMOL did as good a job as anyone in this vintage, but the wines seem to have lost some of their exuberance in going from barrel to bottle. The 2007s, products of a very cool growing year as well as some of the best fruit that winemaker Andy Smith has ever seen come into the winery, look terrific. About one-third of the entire Pinot Noir production from DuMOL was sold off in 2006 because of the difficulties of heat spikes and botrytis. The wines in bottle are somewhat more muted and decidedly less impressive than I had hoped they would be, and to me seem well behind the brilliant quality of the 2005s and 2004s, or the promising 2007s. When I asked the winemaker, Andy Smith, about percentages of oak and pH levels for the 2007s, he told me that most of the 2007 Pinot Noirs were in the 3.4-3.5 pH range, which is relatively low. The percentage of new oak for all the Pinots was around 40-50%. As for the Chardonnays, rarely did they exceed 60% new oak, and most of that is largely concealed by the richness of those wines.