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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
  • 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

All Vintages
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 difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

REG401006712_2012 Item# 140999