Paul Dolan Vineyards Pinot Noir (5)

Paul Dolan Vineyards Pinot Noir 5-Pack
Sold by: Mendocino Wine Group
$69.99 $172.00 59% off List Price
2013 Paul Dolan Vineyards Pinot Noir, Potter Valley, Mendocino County

Hope there is some forthcoming rattage.

2013 Paul Dolan Pinot Noir

Yup, the golden ticket.

Quick notes; buy if offered at < $15 assuming you appreciate a reserved PN that doesn’t scream fruit-in-your-face and has enough acid/tannins to be food friendly.

Five of us tasting this one, and the notes are a mash-up.

Shy on both nose and palate if too chilled, let this one warm up a bit.
Cherry and strawberry dominate at PnP, but we didn’t really do a tasting until after a ~3 hour decant, and warm-up from fridge temps, where also noted were black cherry, plum and three commented earthy, one was qualified as fresh, after a rain.

All carried to taste, with the addition of dusty earth, mint, licorice, unripe blackberries and mild cocoa. One comment of crab apple. Overall dry, with some tasty somewhat drying tannins. This isn’t a funky earth PN, but rather clean and reserved, on the lighter side a bit more like one would expect from an Oregon house.
The tannins do pop a bit more on the medium finish as this warms to room temperature.

A food friendly offer with light to medium fair, and plays well with semi-hard cheeses and really pops if a bit of quince paste is added.

All gave this a high “yum” rating.

Revisiting tonight, after a couple days in bottle, no Ar, it remained consistent with original notes.

Seeing the woot price of $14, this offers a solid qpr purchase.

of course.


Well, I just put my money where my mouth is! LOL. I too, got the golden ticket after a long hiatus. I hadn’t tasted this vineyard before, nor did I read the label before opening . . .

I opened this with my wife and daughter Friday evening (my daughter has, quite possibly, the best nose on the planet.) She nails it upon opening at Black Cherry and Cedar, and accepts my addition of Cloves. My wife simply states “berries”, and takes a glass to the back room.

About 35 minutes later I pour. All of the above, but smoother, sandalwood I toss out, unexpectedly my daughter agrees. She thinks it’s a tad acidic, but she only smells wine (even though I let her have a sip). I check the label - 13.5% ok. Certainly no fruit bomb here, but who would expect that from a Mendocino Pinot? Then I notice the label - organic grapes - ca-ching - gotta love that too!

Thoroughly enjoyed the wine, but I have to say the second half of the bottle was offered to friends on day two (I think they were quite pleased, but I didn’t press them for an opinion).

Lastly, I guessed the WW price point would be 3 bottles at $70. When I saw tonight it was a 5-pack for for $70, quite frankly, I was all over it! Thanks guys!

Thanks for the debateage!

Pulled from the website fwiw:

92 POINTS - The Press Democrat North Coast Wine Challenge;

89 POINTS - Wine Enthusiast, Nov 2015, Tempting aromas of cherries, raspberries, earth and light spices precede lively flavors of cherry, cinnamon and clove. These partner with medium body and a gentle texture that has just a touch of crispness and tannin.

★★★★ “…full-bodied, ripe and elegant in character (red currant, strawberry, cherry, nutmeg), with good balance and a long finish.” - Restaurant Wine Newsletter

GOLD - 2015 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

Another good reason to leave New Jersey. Boo hoo.


WineDrew dropped a bottle of this off for me to Labrat. Thank you Drew!

The type of Pinot I like to drink. Jana and I opened this with Amador County lamb burgers fresh off the BBQ. The wine went great with the meal. This Pinot is medium in color and body with red fruit varietal character. This is not one of those overweight Pinots that taste more like Syrah than Pinot Noir. This is a well-made varietal wine of place, variety and vintage. I got bright red fresh cherry fruit with old world style acidity. The wine seems to have been made to go with food. It sure cut the fat in the lamb burger so that the next bit tasted like the first bit. My test to an old world style wine. I’m in.

Thank you so much for showing interest in our 2013 Paul Dolan Vineyards Pinot Noir!

This wine received an 89 point score from the Wine Enthusiast magazine!

This wine pairs fabulous with salmon, roasted chicken, turkey, pork tenderloin and lamb.

A great wine for your thanksgiving holiday.

SWMBO and I were pleased to find this Golden Ticket and the Paul Dolan for tasting. This is the first time I’ve (knowingly) had a Pinot Noir from the Potter Valley AVA in Mendocino County. When most winos think of Mendocino County, they think either of the Anderson Valley (through which runs CA128 from Boonville to Navarro from Southeast to Northwest.), a cool climate where excellent Chardonnay for sparkling wines and outstanding Riesling are grown, or the area along US101 which continues NorthNorthWest from upper Sonoma County through Hopland and Ukiah and beyond, a hot climate much like upper Sonoma County and long the source of rather rustic reds - especially Zinfandel and the now less common blending grapes - used as bulk wine and/or inexpensive varietals (think Fetzer Zinfandel from the '70s and early '80s). Parducci is probably the most widely known name in Mendocino Country wine. (In the interest of full disclosure, one of my great uncles made wine in Ukiah before Prohibition and - among other things - grape concentrate in Ukiah during Prohibition)

Potter Valley - which I remember as merely a very poor agricultural area without much viticulture - is different: it’s more inland and very rural, with hot days and cool nights. Much of what’s planted there is Chardonnay, with some Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.

So, with that background, SWMBO and I decided to give this wine a proper modified Davis (20 point maximum) whirl:

Paul Dolan Vineyards 2013 Pinot Noir
Potter Valley AVA, Mendocino County

Opened approximately 1 hour before tasting, not decanted.
Notes made independently, then discussed.

  1. Appearance (max 2):  
    rpm:  clear, but not brilliantly clear - 1 point
    swmbo:  very clear - 2 points
  2. Color (max 2):
    rpm:  fairly light, fairly characteristic light red - 1 point
    swmbo:  light - 1 point
  3. Aroma and bouquet (max 6)
    rpm:  very initial impression on opening - slightly candyish strawberry, pleasant
           after 1 hour in glass:  strawberry fruit dominant, some earthiness, occasional hints of leather.  Very pleasant, but not especially complex nose  -  4 points (a little stretch)

    swmbo: currants, musty in a nice way - 3(+) points

  4. Total Acidity (max 2):

    rpm: a little low, noticeable in mouth feel and middle palate - 1 point

    swmbo: a little low - 1 point

  5. Sweetness (max 1):

    rpm: appropriate for the wine - 1 point

    swmbo: perfect for the wine - 1 point

  6. Body (max 1):

    rpm: light body, nice mouthfeel - 1 point

    swmbo: excellent mouth feel - 1 point

  7. Flavor (max 2):

    rpm:  characteristic straightforward pinot flavors, I'd have like to see more depth of flavor and complexity  - 1-1/2 point
    swmbo:  good, could have more depth - 1 point
  8. Bitterness (max 1):

     rpm: no significant inappropriate bitterness - 1 point
     swmbo:  no - 1 point
  9. Astringency (tannin) (max 1):

    rpm:  sufficient, finish is good, but not long - 1 point
    swmbo:  appropriate - 1 point
  10. General Quality (max 2):

    rpm: a well-made, good food wine for current drinking. I don’t think it has the structure to age more than a year or so. It’s good but not as complex as I like in Pinot Noir - 1-1/2 points

    swmbo: no specific notes, but in following discussion said she thought it needed (and would go well with) food, was enjoyable but simple - 2 points

Total Score (Max 20):

    rpm:  14(+)

    swmbo:  14(+)

What does this mean to those of you used to 100 point scales where every wine has to score in the 90s to be worth considering?

The Davis scale range doesn’t really translate directly:

Wines rated 17-20 are rare; outstanding wines of exceptional character. California wines I’ve rated at 20 over the years have included some 1941 and 1970 Cabernets, not much else. I find Cathy Corison’s Cabernets run from 16-19.

Wines rated 13-16 are called standard wines with neither outstanding character or defect. This encompasses ~50% of the wines you buy and drink with pleasure. These are wines that are good to very very good, with no pronounced defects. Any honest winemaker would be happy to have most of her wines fall within this range, though naturally she’d rather a 16 than a 13… Winemakers want their best wines to make it over the hump to 17+.

Wines rated 9-12 are wines of commercial acceptability with noticeable defects. - I’m looking at you overly alcoholic, overly ripe raisiny flavored wines of all varieties (esp. Cabernet and Zinfandel), oak bomb Chardonnays, flabby Merlot, etc. These wines aren’t bad, but you’ll notice the defect. These wines are at least 30-40% of what you see in the market.

Wines rated 5-8 are below the level of sound commercial wine and wines below 5 are completely spoiled. Brett infected whites, I’m calling you out…

OK, so that means that giving this wine a 14(+) shows swmbo and I thought this was a good, nice drinking wine - well worth buying for current drinking at a reasonable price, but not a wine we’d look to put in the cellar for 5-10 years (or more - apologies to my wallet for the 2012 Kronos Cabernet Sauvignon of which you should buy all you can afford…but you could get 10 bottles of the Paul Dolan for the price of one 2012 Kronos…)

This was reinforced when we finished the bottle with our dinner of sauerbraten, with red cabbage and potato pancakes. It went very nicely with the tender beef. Thoroughly enjoyable and to be recommended. It did not, however, work with 70% chocolate after dinner.

SWMBO and I figured we’d buy this if were less than $15 a bottle, and it is, so we did.

This is a very nice wine with a very solid QPR at $14.

I’d look forward to future offerings from Paul Dolan Vineyards with interest.

I agree: if you’ve got a large family/friends group for Thanksgiving and don’t want to break out the Romanee-Conti this 5-bottle offering would work perfectly - you and all your guests (except the guy who hoped you’d open something from DRC) will be very happy with the wine!

Thanks for all the ratting! Seems like not enough deals have tasting notes lately. In for one!

Thanks to all. This is clearly going to hit SWMBO’s sweet spot.

sigh, sucker for pinot

Speed to first woot: 36m 23.992s
First sucker: oakley100
Last wooter to woot: mandoo500
Last purchase: a few seconds ago

This will likely be on our Thanksgiving table.

Great Rats errrr debaters today!

Thanks for jumping on board. Was this biodynamically farmed? I have an obsession with bio wines! :slight_smile:

I would love some insight on how long I could lay this wine down. My near-term (i.e. drink in the next couple of years) inventory is maxed out, so I’m looking ahead and wonder if this wine will hold up.