2021 - 2030
The 2017 Pinot Noir Wester Reach is pale to medium ruby with cranberry, crushed black cherry, woodsmoke, oolong tea leaves and pipe tobacco on the nose with notes of earth, strawberry and cola. The light to medium-bodied palate offers a great interplay of spicy fruits and earthy character, with seamlessly woven grainy tannins and juicy acidity, finishing long and spicy with loads of energy. Give this another year or two in bottle.
Winemaker Andy Smith has been with Dumol for over 20 years. The brand has steadily grown from just a few hundred cases and now makes 16,000 to 18,000 cases a year. They are slowly tapering the purchase of grapes and are focusing on estate or leased vineyards (the word “Dumol” on the foil indicates that the wine comes from an estate vineyard). After a replanting scheme from 1997-2007, all the estate vines are between 12 and 60 years old. Chardonnays are crafted using full malolactic but without lees stirring. “We are looking for focus, length and clarity as opposed to broad, softly textured wines,” Smith says. They are barrel fermented, aged in about 30% new oak and finished in stainless steel before bottling. Pinot Noirs see about 35% to 45% new oak, while Syrah gets 25% and Cabernet Sauvignon is aged in 50% new oak. Not much whole cluster is used. 2017 was a great vintage for this estate, and Smith says, “2017 is one of my favorite vintages for Chardonnay. We had lots of tiny berries with thick skins, which plays right into our style. It was a small crop, picked extremely rapidly because of the Labor Day heat wave. We harvested about 90% of our fruit before the heat. Once the fruit is dead on the vine, there’s nothing you can do in the winery. I’d rather harvest a couple days early, for any variety—they can grow in the barrel. We are believers that the fruit that came in before the heat was the best.”