Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Paul Dolan Vineyards Cabernet and Sauvignon Blanc

I've written about Paul Dolan Vineyards many times over the course of my blogging career. The wines are almost always excellent values while tasting freakin delicious! Certainly you could do a lot worse at their modest price points.

I confess though, that these wines have sat in the sample rack for damn near one year. It's my own fault so I feel bad. A big apology to Fineman PR for not getting to these sooner!

These wines are from Mendocino County, north of the more well-known Napa and Sonoma areas. Mendocino boasts conditions that are right for several different kinds of grapes, from pinot noir and syrah to sauvignon blanc and pinot grigio. As far as I know, all of their vineyards are either organic or biodynamic, and they even produce certified biodynamic wines. No small feat in this age of fertilizers and chemicals.

2011 Paul Dolan Sauvignon Blanc Potter Valley: I picked up a lot of citrus and melon notes right away, all nicely balanced and in tune with each other. Lively acidity carries the citrus notes across the palate while the summer melon flavor helps give some body. All in all, a clean, simple sauvignon blanc that would pair beautifully with fish and chicken in the summer. $17.99 SRP. 13.5% abv.

2010 Paul Dolan Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Mendocino County: Lots of herbs, soil, wood, and cassis aromas. While this smells young, it also has impressive complexity for a $25 California Cabernet. I like the firm, drying tannin and how it balances the ripe blueberry/blackberry flavors. More of the dusty soil flavors come through too, as well as a bittersweet chocolate thing. Needs time to open up but once it does, I think this will be a QPR winner. $25.99 SRP. 14.5% abv.

I think the Cabernet is my preferred wine of the two, it's showing more complexity and depth, and it's got such a similar flavor profile to the Paul Dolan wines I've tasted in the past. This is one you might want to consider stocking up on, as it will continue to drink well for the next ten years or so.

These wines were samples for review.

Beau Carufel

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