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The Donum Estate Carneros Estate Grown Pinot Noir 2010

Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
  • WS95
14.5% ABV
  • RP92
  • WS93
  • WE91
  • WE94
  • WS93
  • RP90
  • CG91
  • WS91
  • RP91
  • WE91
  • WE93
  • RP90
  • WS90
  • WS93
  • WE91
  • WS93
  • WE90
  • CG90
  • WS93
  • WE92
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

#59 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2013

The 2010 Carneros Estate Pinot Noir is medium ruby in color, with just a hint of the garnet hue so typical of Carneros. The nose shows aromas of black cherry, raspberry, lilac, blackberry and sassafras. The palate echoes these berry and cherry notes, but shows an earthier, iron-like quality along with pomegranate, blueberry and vanilla. Deftly combining earthiness and fresh fruit, this brooding wine is lifted by wonderful acidity, and finishes with a lingering raspberry flavor.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 95
Wine Spectator
Offers ebullient raspberry and black cherry flavors that are ripe and seductive, with spice, loam and sandalwood details. Notes of cassis, raspberry jam and red licorice crescendo on the long finish, with very refined tannins. Drink now through 2023. 589 cases made.
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The Donum Estate

The Donum Estate

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The Donum Estate, Carneros, 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.

Carneros

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Known for elegant wines that combine power and finesse, Carneros is set in the rolling hills that straddle the southernmost parts of both Sonoma and Napa counties. Its close proximity to the San Francisco Peninsula and the San Pablo Bay is instrumental in controlling the climate of the area. The winds from the San Pablo Bay create a cooling effect ideal for producing wines with crisp acidity and balanced flavors.

This cooler pocket of California lends itself to growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and more recently, Old-World style Syrah. While more delicate than most wines from neighboring regions, these are firmly structured, complex, and full of flavor. Carneros is also an important source of sparkling wines made in the style of Champagne.

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.

SSADONUM_2010 Item# 123973