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Spring Release Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

Winemaker’s Notes

In 2004 we experienced undoubtedly the finest Pinot growing conditions in our coastal district in the ten-year history of DuMOL and as you can imagine, we are rather pleased with the wines that were the product of this unique season. The early budbreak, dry spring and subsequent moderate crop load, all combined to produce the smallest, healthiest, most uniformly even clusters and berries we have witnessed. The mild summer conditions and high sunlight hours preserved the intense aromatic precursors in the fruit itself and matured skins rich in color and flavoring material. Harvest was a full two weeks earlier than normal, starting on August 20th and by the time the first heat spike was upon us, the majority of our high elevation, ridgetop vineyards had been picked under perfect warm late-summer conditions. Those cooler valley floor vineyards that sat through the heat tended to be more mature with deeper root systems and thus rode out the admittedly hot conditions without deterioration. As the perfectly ripe fruit was harvested, it was clear that the potential for greatness was there for the taking. Our resulting 2004 blend is comprised of mostly Californian heritage clonal selections, which display greater heat tolerance and acid retention than the newer Dijon selections, maintaining freshness and intensity without any sense of heaviness or excess weight. Of our newer sources Sundawg Ridge performed particularly well, its hillside Pommard clones offering tantalizing aromatic intensity and fresh acidity. In contrast, the Calera and Swan selections planted in our new Hyde Sonoma Coast vineyard showed powerful dark, peppery fruit in a more brooding powerful style. In the cellar we have moved to slightly less new oak and tend to prefer a moderate toasting level, which seems to more clearly elevate the natural flavors of each vineyard. After 14 months of barrel aging the blend was gently moved to tank for a further 3 months of natural settling, allowing all six vineyards and ten individual fermentation lots to harmonize and integrate prior to unfiltered bottling.

Deep ruby/purple color. Intensely aromatic nose with black cherry, violet, fresh herbs and spicy red licorice. The palate shows great purity of black raspberry fruit and fine minerals. Richer plum and truffle notes emerge with air, although the wine remains fresh and lively with good primary inner-mouth aromatics and sweet length. Excellent acidity provides balance and persistence. One of our most age-worthy RRV Pinots to date, with good cellaring this wine should provide great drinking pleasure for up to eight years. Serve between 58 and 62 degrees to ensure full flavor development.

Andy Smith

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Harvest Date

August 20th to September 9th


Russian River Valley


Old Beringer, Pommard, Dijon 115, Calera & Swan

Age of Vines at Harvest

12 years

Barrel Aging

Aged 14 months in French oak barrels, 40% new from Tonnelleries Remond, Francois Freres & Ermitage


2450 cases of 750mL
80 cases of 1.5L
30 bottles of 3L