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Dolin Estate: New Central Coast Pinots Offer Exceptional Value

Elliott and Lynn Dolin, proprietors of Dolin Malibu Estate Vineyards, introduced a new lineup of Central Coast Pinot Noirs in late 2014. The inaugural Dolin Estate Pinot Noirs come from the 2012 vintage and include a Central Coast Rosé of Pinot Noir, a Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir and three single-vineyard Pinot Noir bottlings from Bien Nacido, Talley Rincon and Solomon Hills vineyards.

Dolin Estate was established in 2006 when the Dolins planted 900 Chardonnay vines on their Malibu property that overlooks the Pacific Ocean. Elliott, who was a former studio musician and performer in The Manhattan Transfer, developed an interest in wine when he fell in with a group of Los Angeles area wine collectors and began taking wine appreciation classes at UCLA.

Following the release of three vintages of Malibu Estate Chardonnay, the winery planned to expand its production, adding more Malibu wines from neighboring vineyards in the newly approved Malibu Coast AVA in 2015. Beyond this, working closely with Central Coast winemaker Kirby Anderson (there are no wineries in Malibu), and leveraging relationships with top growers, Elliott was able to secure Pinot Noir fruit from his favorite Central Coast vineyards. Anderson has vinified the Malibu Estate Chardonnay since 2010 and all the Pinot Noir offerings that began with the current 2012 vintage offering.

2012 Dolin Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.35% alc., pH 3.66, TA 0.57, 485 cases, $32. Sourced from select vineyards. Clones 115, Pommard 4 and Swan selection. Aged 20 months in French oak barrels, 18% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The aromas really pop featuring black raspberry, plum, sandalwood and oak spice. This wine displays dreamy balance with soft tannins, bright acidity, and readily accessible flavors of very dark cherry, raspberry and plum with hints of cola and mocha. The finish is highly satisfying. Score: 90

2012 Dolin Talley Rincon Vineyard Arroyo Grande Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.65, TA 0.56, 172 cases, $45. Clones 667 and 777. Aged 20 months in French oak barrels, 30% new. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. There is plenty of charm in this wine that offers bright scents of plum, black raspberry, sous-bois and toasty oak. The luscious, rich core of boysenberry and plum fruits is backed by firm, fine-grain tannins. This is a mouth coating wine that is hedonistic yet angelic, and offers a very long and richly fruited finish. Score: 92

2012 Dolin Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., pH 3.61, TA 0.58, 128 cases, $45. Clone 667. Aged 20 months in French oak barrels, 30% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of black cherry, loamy earth, underbrush and oak lead to mid weight, tasty flavors of black raspberry, blueberry and black cherry. Juicy and refreshing with balanced tannins and a long, sleek finish. Score: 91

2012 Dolin Solomon Hills Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.34% alc., pH 3.55, TA 0.61, 140 cases, $45. Clone 777. Aged 19 months in French oak barrels, 30% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Appealing scents of dark cherry cobbler, cassis and balsam. Plenty of oak-kissed dark red and purple fruits that satisfy with a noticeable attack and fullness. Silky in the mouth with modest tannins and some finishing length. This wine has more oak overlay than I prefer, but the texture is seductive. Score: 90

The wines are sold on the winery’s website at and through a mailing list. They are priced right with exceptional quality at the right price. The wines are also on the wine lists of some of some of Los Angeles’s most prestigious restaurants.

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