The names Paul Dolan and Mendocino County go hand in hand. His work there with a number of producers over the years is legendary. Today he helms Paul Dolan Vineyards and is a partner in Parducci Wine Cellars. I’ll take a look today at a couple of releases from his Eponymous winery. First up is the Paul Dolan Vineyards 2009 Zinfandel. It was produced using mostly fruit sourced at the Parducci Home Vineyard. This is a benchland vineyard. In addition to Zinfandel (99%), this wine also contains a splash of Syrah (1%). All of the fruit is 100% organic, certified by California Certified Organic Farmers. Once fermentation was completed this wine was aged in a combination of barrels and redwood tanks; 10% of the barrels were new. 2,727 cases of this wine were produced and it has a suggested retail price of $25.
The aromas that emanate from the nose of this 2009 Zinfandel bring to mind a large bowl of fresh, fleshy dark berries and plums. Hints of bramble and earth underscore all that fresh fruit for a nice counterpoint. Sweet even keeled dark fruit flavors emerge on the palate along with plum pudding spices and a few herbaceous characteristics. Rhubarb, black pepper, vanilla bean and just a bit of jam fruit flavor are all part of the finish which has nice length.
This Zinfandel from Paul Dolan Vineyards is typical of Mendocino in that the region tends towards more classically styles Zins. By and large these wines tend to be more balanced and proportionate than Zinfandel from some other regions. This wine is just loaded with terrific Zinfandel characteristics.
The Paul Dolan Vineyards 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon was produced from fruit sourced at the Parducci Home Vineyard and Paul Dolan’s Dark Horse Ranch. In addition to Cabernet Sauvignon (97.5%), this wine contains a bit of Petit Verdot (2.5%). This wine is also made from certified organic grapes. Once fermentation was complete it was aged for 15 months in American oak; 50% of the barrels were new. 2,800 cases of this Cabernet were produced and it has a suggested retail price of $25.
Ripe berry fruit and hints of eucalyptus emerge from the nose of this 2009 Mendocino Cabernet Sauvignon. Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and fleshy plum are all part of this wines palate. Toast, espresso and earth emerge on the finish along with black pepper, vanilla bean and a little tinge of kirsch. This Cabernet has firm tannins that yield with some air and solid acid structure. This is a solid Cabernet for the price. It’s not meant for long term aging but it’ll drink well over the next 6-8 years; but why wait its delicious now.
These wines are emblematic of the Paul Dolan wines at large. The releases bearing his name are jammed with pure fruit flavors, balanced so they can pair well with food and quite fairly priced in their respective categories. I honestly believe you cannot go wrong buying any wine Paul Dolan is associated with.