Those of us living in southern California know that we don’t have to drive too far north or south to taste great wines. Recently, I was introduced to the Dolin Malibu Estate Vineyards through Jarvis Communications. According to Jarvis, Dolin Malibu Estate Vineyards was inspired by a planting of Chardonnay grapes behind Elliot and Lynn Dolin’s Malibu home back in 2006. Since then, “Dolin has quickly emerged as one of the leading producers in the burgeoning Malibu Coast, a region poised to attain AVA in early 2014. Following the release of just three vintages of Chardonnay ($39), the winery already has plans to expand its Malibu production to include several more wines from the region, and it will further broaden its scope by the middle of 2014 with the release of a new line of Central Coast Pinot Noir wines from such highly regarded vineyards as Talley 'Rincon', Bien Nacido and Solomon Hills.
Though Elliott had been an avid red wine consumer and had originally expected to plant Bordeaux varietals, his aim was to make the best wine possible. Quickly, it was recognized that Malibu Coasts' cool foggy mornings and large diurnal shift, with temperatures averaging 54-degrees at night and 86-degrees during the day, were in fact perfect for growing Chardonnay. The site was laid out at a 45-degree eastward facing angle on the property's sharply grated, south-oriented slope. The vineyard's blend of Zuma volcanic soils and sandy loam were a perfect fit for Chardonnay Dijon 96 clone."
"I came in thinking Malibu was a frivolous place to make wine and best suited to hobbyists, but making wine at Dolin quickly straightened me out," says Kirby. "I can now say with certainty there will be great things coming from Malibu. The land is there; the weather is there; the funds for high-quality farming are there. The only thing missing with most Malibu wines, until recently, was the commitment to make it a serious game."
Current releases include the 2011 Dolin Malibu Estate Vineyards Chardonnay which retails for $39, and the 2012 Dolin Rose of Pinot Noir which retails for $22. For a list of restaurants and retail establishments which carry Dolin wines, go to www.dolinestate.com/wheretotaste.php.