DuMOL Joy Road Vineyard Pinot Noir 2019


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“The 2019 Pinot Noir Joy Road is one of the more subdued wines in the range. It presents a whole range of floral and savory notes, and yet the fruit remains very much in the background. Today, the Joy Road is a bit austere. I would be in no rush here. Drinking window: 2024-2034. 93 points

This is a pretty remarkable set of new releases from DuMOL. The Pinots achieved a level of richness that was not easy in a year with a fair amount of rain early in the season, while the Syrahs and Chardonnays are terrific. Winemaker Andy Smith describes 2019 as a year with uneven flowering, especially in Pinot and Syrah, which resulted in small bunches and naturally low yields. Vineyards required just one pass to adjust crop levels, as opposed to three in 2018. On paper 2019 is a vintage with low acids for the Chardonnays vis-à-vis 2018 and lower tannins for the Pinots as well. In my view, though, the biggest driver of style at DuMOL is an emphasis on freshness and energy that defines the wines today as compared to a decade ago, when the wines were much more opulent and oaky. Another key development has been DuMOL’s transformation into an estate winery. In the early days all of the fruit here was purchased. Today, nearly all the Pinot and Syrah are estate, as is more than half of the Chardonnay.”

Antonio Galloni, Vinous (01/21)