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The Donum Estate Carneros Estate Grown Pinot Noir 2010

Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
  • WS95
14.5% ABV
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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. The cooling winds from the abutting San Pablo Bay, combined with lots of midday California sunshine, create an ideal environment for producing wines with a perfect balance of crisp acidity and well-ripened fruit.

This cooler pocket of California lends itself to growing Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah. Carneros is an important source of sparkling wines made in the style of Champagne as well.

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, not Pinot noir. 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 Village or Cru level wines. So "red Burgundy" still necessarily refers to Pinot noir.

SSADONUM_2010 Item# 123973