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DuMol Wester Reach Chardonnay 2018


I have something very special from the Russian River Valley. The media darling, DuMol and their Chardonnay Cuvee, Wester Ranch, featuring fruit from famed vineyards, Ritchie, Heintz. Lorenzo, Dutton, and DuMOL Estate. This one is a white wine masterpiece that is every bit worthy of the lavish praise it’s received. And lavish it has been.

This isn’t only Wine Enthusiast’s #1 rated Chardonnay in the world tasted from the 2018 vintage, it also is two full points higher than the next closest entry. A stunning feat for a wine that is almost three times less expensive than some of its fellow competitors at the top of the ranks.

Ever since their inaugural vintage in 1996, DuMol has led the pack in the Russian River Valley. But in the fabulous 2018 vintage throughout California- winemaker Andy Smith found an even higher gear, turning in a fleet of wines as formidable as the Spanish Armada.

I tasted a few a few months ago and was blown away. I wasn’t alone. Jeb Dunnuck who has been reviewing Dumol wines for two decades declared, “”This was easily the finest set of releases I have tasted from winemaker Andy Smith.” Vinous chimed in, calling Smith’s 2018’s “vivid and super expressive.” But it was the most notable critic, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, who took it even further declaring, “Some of the 2018’s [out of Sonoma] are potential career wines and the wines from DuMol are the best I have ever tasted.” Wowzers.

But the creme de la creme is today’s wine– which I’m able to bring to you for the best price around. From the remarkably cool-climate Russian River vineyard, Wester Ranch, comes this wine bristling with energy and precision. It’s got weight but also tremendous balance, perfectly structured with waves of lemon curd, butterscotch and citrus with bright acidity and a terrific high-toned mineral streak that finishes long and strong.

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98 Points, Wine Enthusiast
Aromas are rich with oily intensity: white peach, tangerine, crystallized ginger, and hazelnut underpinned by an edge of steely mineral freshness. Stone fruits and deep citrus oil dominate the palate, broad and layered, full of intricate nuances. Tangy lemon curd and grapefruit notes combine with fresh acidity to bring energy and focus to the long, vibrant finish.

94+ Points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
The 2018 Chardonnay Wester Reach comes from the Dumol estate plus fruit from Ritchie, Charles Heintz, Lorenzo and Dutton vineyards. It offers gentle scents of honey, oats, nuts and dried white flowers over a peachy core. The medium-bodied palate has an understated savory character, balancing yeasty and mineral touches and bright acidity, finishing long and mineral-driven.

94 Points, Jeb Dunnuck
A wine that goes out to distribution only (as opposed to the winery mailing list), the 2018 Chardonnay Wester Reach is a blend of the Ritchie, Heintz. Lorenzo, Dutton, and DuMOL Estate vineyards and was brought up in 35% new French oak. It has a classic Russian River Valley vibe in its rich orchard fruits, pear, buttered citrus, and brioche aromas and flavors. These all carry to a medium to full-bodied wine that has the fleshy, supple style of the vintage yet stays firmly in the DuMOL stylistic camp with its vibrant acidity and focused finish.


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