Tag Archives: Dumol Chardonnay

Desert Island Whites

3 Jul

Is there a red wine you’d drink with breakfast? Perhaps not. But if I were on a desert island and had to choose one wine, I might choose one of these three. They’d certainly be on my list (along with a couple of impossibly expensive choices, including several Montrachets, Cheval Blanc, and one Prüm- most of which I can’t afford) and most importantly, would pair beautifully with island food- fruit, shellfish, seafood, white meat, salad. Right? Easy to enjoy, day or night!

Best of all, these are easy to share with your friends. You’ve already seen the “dark horse” wines I served at a recent neighborhood wine tasting. Now I get to share the three “heavy hitter” wines I served as the culmination to that evening’s selection of white wines. Scroll below the picture for more info:



Paul Pillot Bourgogne Aligoté  2010. Approx $16.



DuMol Russian River Valley Chardonnay, 2011. Approx $50



Far Niente Napa Valley Chardonnay, 2012. Approx $65.


I’m not providing my personal tasting notes for these wines because in writing them, I quickly got sidetracked with my personal relationship with each wine. Away they went!  So instead, I’ll explain why they are worth celebrating:  

Each of these wines is beautifully made and expresses the winemaker’s skill, the perfection of the grape, as well as terroir with minimal outer influence. Each also demonstrates precise fruit, driven minerality, clean acidity, and expansive depth. They are amazing alone and absolutely stunning with a proper food pairing. The great beauty of serving these wines at a tasting is watching as a person tastes the wine for the first time, comes back to the well a second and third time, finding new notes as the wine opens and expands, evoking additional flavors and expressions. Tasting these wines is wonderful, watching the taster’s face and excitement during the process is also wonderfully addictive and exciting!

While not necessarily “showy” wines, they are instead, massive crowd-pleasers. It was a joy to share these with others and to see them experience such well-made wines after such a long tasting, but the effects were not lost on the group. Everyone found at least one of these three they loved and truly appreciated, and that makes a wine tasting all the sweeter.

What would YOUR desert island wine be?

à votre santé!


The Wine Cellar, Las Vegas NV

8 Feb

When I had to go to Las Vegas for a conference, I hoped I’d find a place to find a decent glass of wine. Fortunately for me, hidden away below the gaming floor at the Rio Casino is The Wine Cellar Tasting Room.



The wine stewards here are pleasant and helpful; there is a daily menu with wines by the glass as well as a large by the bottle selection. In a larger menu they have multi-wine flights that range from $20-$80, with notes by the person who created each flight.

The stewards told me they have wine significant turnover each month, so I expect they are buying a few cases only for each wine. Emphasis is largely on California wines, to match the large percentage of their clientele. While I’d personally like to see more world wines and flights, with a little help I easily found some wonderful California wines that I’m so glad I tasted. One that really stood out to me was the Dumol Chardonnay 2008. This Russian River Valley wine was an amazing cap to my day of business conferences. My notes from the tasting: “Slight greenish-gold hue, perfumed nose with tangerine and white peach. Expansive palate of pear,  baked apple, & touch of citrus, with bold acidity. Great depth and detail, almost sad to leave the tongue. Reminds me of great Burgundies.Very gentle wood finish with secondary notes of spice and stone; can’t wait for the next sip. As delightful a California white as I’ve seen in years. ” At this point, I put down my ipad to stop taking notes and focused on enjoying the wine. Can you blame me?


I found The Wine Cellar to be an excellent resource for the wine lover who would enjoy a flight, glass, or a nice bottle to enjoy locally or take back to your room. They also have a rack full of $10 wines that are passable, so don’t fret about breaking the bank.  Single glasses of wine vary in price, on par with major cities, for a generous pour. Over the course of several visits,  I had the opportunity to enjoy several glasses of wine, trying new things, and chatting with the stewards.  On my final evening in Las Vegas, I tried a three-cheese pairing with a Twenty Rows 2009 Napa Cabernet (retail $20/bottle). It is a delightful cab, and I will look for in the future to give it an accurate review.

20 Rows

With a touch of blue cheese still on my palate, I chose to cleanse with an Italian winemaker whose barbera and nebbiolo I have enjoyed, Michele Chiarlo’s Moscato d’Asti Nivole. A touch sweeter than the Sauternes and Eiswines I’ve been drinking,  it was the perfect foil and palate cleanser.


After my tasting, I walked around the cellar and enjoyed the large format, first growth, high profile, and historical bottles they have on display.

Thomas Jefferson

I found The Wine Cellar a fun oasis for oenophiles and a welcome departure from your business conference or the gaming floor. It’s also the safest bet you’ll find in Las Vegas.

à votre santé!

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