DuMOL 2006 finn Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

While the Bordeaux varietals deliver immense satisfaction, their beauty—like that of a Cubist abstract—tends toward the bold, the bright, and the linear. Pinot Noir, on the other hand, relies on subtle forms and delicate layers of light and shadow to suggest, rather than render overtly, its impressionistic landscapes of sensation. At least French Pinot Noir does; critics often complain that red Burgundy’s California cousins, whose massive ripeness is more akin to Cabernet Sauvignon, lack this mesmerizing power. If this is perhaps true of some wines, it is not the case for those that come from Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley—the Golden State’s own Côte d’Or—where Kerry Murphy and Michael Verlander, founders of DuMOL, continue to produce stunning Pinots that appeal to the intellect as well as the senses. The DuMOL 2006 finn Pinot Noir Russian River Valley (www.dumol.com, $80) has opulent blackberry and plum flavors with earthy undercurrents of mushroom, nutmeg, and anise.