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The Donum Estate Anderson Valley Estate Pinot Noir 2012

Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California
  • WE94
  • RP91
  • WS90
  • CG90
14.1% ABV
  • RP90
  • WE92
  • WS91
  • WE93
  • WS91
  • WE94
  • RP90
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4.2 7 Ratings
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4.2 7 Ratings
14.1% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Deep ruby in color, the 2012 Anderson Valley shows blackberry and cherry on the nose, with a subtle aroma of violets. Thepalate shows more dark fruit, along with cranberry highlights, anise, and touches of baking spice and even apple. Incrediblyvibrant on the palate, there is plenty of lift, with fresh flavors carrying through the finish.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
The flavors run as deep as the dark garnet color in this full-bodied but sophisticated wine. Aromas trigger black cherry, subtle spicy oak and a walk in the forest, while the fruit flavors are ripe and delicious. The texture is like velvet—smooth but not slick. The complexity and inherent richness of flavor seem to increase with each sip, and it has firm acidity and tannins to cleanse the palate. Editor's Choice
RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2012 Pinot Noir Estate Anderson Valley is a beauty. Its deep ruby/blue color is accompanied by glorious aromas of violets, blueberries and raspberries, a medium-bodied mouthfeel, and terrific purity, texture and length. This is a cool-climate, blue-fruited effort to enjoy over the next 5-6 years.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
A successful 2011 that fills in midpalate, showing a supple texture to the ripe blueberry and wild berry flavors. Ends with firm, snappy tannins and good length. Should gain over the next few years. Drink now through 2023.
CG 90
Connoisseurs' Guide
Among the more refined wines of the Donum contingent, yet in no way lacking in richness and fruity depth, this one begins with neatly composed aromas of black cherries and sweet oak that are fully echoed in kind by its very deep, similarly precise, long-lasting flavors. Although enticingly supple to start, it quickly firms and exhibits the structure that a young, ageworthy wine needs, and its neatly proportioned combination of integral acidity, neatly placed tannins and fine fruity substance is the sure mark of a Pinot Noir destined to age famously for upwards of a halfdozen or more years.
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The Donum Estate

The Donum Estate

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The Donum Estate, Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California
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Since The Donum Estate's first release in 2001, Donum winegrower and founder, Anne Moller-Racke has remained committed to growing Pinot Noir based on a Burgundian grand cru model of estate farming. A Carneros grower for over three decades, Anne has worked alongside the industry's foremost authorities, including Andre Tchelistcheff, Dr. Phil Freese and Dr. Paul Skinner. As the caretaker for Donum's three estate vineyards - most notably, the 47 acres planted to heirloom and Dijon clone Pinot Noir and Chardonnay on Donum's 147-acre Carneros rance - her focus is on crafting wines that not only exhibit regional character, but also possess intensity, grace and power. With just a decade under its belt, Donum has secured a reputation as one of California's top producers of cellar-worthy Pinot Noir.

Anderson Valley

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Surrounded by redwood forests and often blanketed in chilly, ocean fog, the Anderson Valley is one of California’s most picturesque appellations. During the growing season, moist, cool, late afternoon air flows in from the Pacific Ocean along the Navarro River and over the valley's golden, oak-studded hills. High and low temperatures can vary as much as 40 or 50 degrees within a single day, allowing for slow and gentle ripening of grapes, which will in turn create elegantly balanced wines.

The Anderson Valley is best known for Pinot Noir made in a range of styles from delicate and floral to powerful and concentrated. Chardonnay also shines here, and both varieties are often utilized for the production of some of California’s best traditional method sparkling wines. The region also draws inspiration from Alsace and produces excellent Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).

In the Glass

Pinot Noir is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles delving into the red or purple plum and in the other direction, red or orange citrus. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount) it can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice, dried fruit and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon and tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Villages or Cru level wines.

REG401006712_2012 Item# 140999