The 2009 Chardonnay Chloe Ritchie Vineyard bursts onto the palate with
superb intensity and richness. Ripe apricots, flowers, spices and
butterscotch flow from this powerful, authoritative Chardonnay. The
weight and richness of these old-vine parcels informs the dense,
full-bodied finish. The Chloe is made from parcels in Ritchie, Searby
and Lorenzo, with vineyards planted in the 1970s. Anticipated maturity:
This is a very strong set of wines from DuMOL and winemaker Andy Smith.
Like so many producers, DuMOL is in the midst of a stylistic shift that
began around 2005. Smith described some of the estate’s earlier wines as
a bit too heavy. Today’s approach emphasizes picking a bit earlier than
in the past and places greater emphasis on complexity, structure and
acidity. At times, the malolactic fermentations are blocked. The
Chardonnays are barrel fermented and aged in oak (50% new) with all of
their lees, but there is no stirring of the lees.