More and more often I find myself gravitating to taste a larger number of wines from Mendocino when I can. One producer that sticks out in a good way is Paul Dolan Vineyards. They’re Organic and Biodynamic and fully embrace everything that is natural in winemaking. Today I’ll look at two of their white wines. The Paul Dolan Vineyard 2008 Chardonnay was produced entirely from Mendocino County fruit. Fruit was sourced from two vineyards, each planted in the early 1970’s. This wine is 100% varietal. 20% of the wine underwent oak barrel aging for 8 months; the remaining 80% was aged in stainless steel. 3,080 cases of this offering were produced and it has a suggested retail price of $18.
Aromas of Orchard fruit, underscored by white pepper characteristics light up the nose of this 2008 Chardonnay. Bartlett pear, pineapple and light mango flavors are on display through this incredibly fresh and lively wine. Hints of mineral, copious spice notes and a dollop of cream all emerge on the even-keeled and crisp finish of this selection.
The bottom line on this Chardonnay is that it’s clean, crisp and loaded with fresh fruit flavors. In other words this is what Chardonnay tastes like when it’s grown right and the winemaker allows its natural charms to shine. Drink this beauty over the next two years to get the most out of its charming flavors. This is a very impressive selection in its price range.
The Paul Dolan Vineyards 2008 Sauvignon Blanc was produced using fruit from two neighboring vineyards located at the headwaters of the Russian River in Mendocino County. This offering is 100% Sauvignon Blanc; it was both fermented and aged in stainless steel. 1,260 cases of this wine were produced and it has a suggested retail price of $18.
Hints of Vanilla Bean intertwine a bevy of citrus aromas in the bold and dynamic nose of this 2008 Sauvignon Blanc. Zesty lemon sorbet flavors through the palate are accompanied by spices and a touch of grass. The finish is lean and mineral laden; it features crisp acidity. The Paul Dolan Sauvignon Blanc leans towards the austere side of this varietal, making it a wine that truly excels when well paired with lighter foods.
This Sauvignon Blanc stands out from the pack; its favors are individual and do an excellent job of expressing a sense of place. If you care about naturally grown wines that aren’t over manipulated, the Paul Dolan portfolio should be on your short list.