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The Donum Estate Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2009

Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
  • WS92
  • WE92
14.4% ABV
  • WE95
  • JS93
  • RP91
  • WE95
  • WS92
  • WS92
  • WE90
  • WE93
  • RP90
  • WS93
  • WE90
  • WS94
  • WS92
  • WS95
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14.4% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This Pinot Noir displays abundant and intense aromas of ripe black fruits, including cherry, plum and raspberry, in a complex and concentrated nose. Smooth and richly textured, the wine offers great depth of black cherry, berry and cola flavors with notes of mineral and spice on a bright and long-lasting finish.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 92
Wine Spectator
Black cherry, pomegranate and plum flavors are framed by touches of toast, earthy loam, black tea and dried rose petal, with understated richness and intensity. Mineral notes on the finish. Drink now through 2020.
WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
Donum is at the top of it's Pinot Noir game. This is simply wonderful, offering a wealth of red fruit, cola, spice, mineral and earth flavors. The tannins are negotiable, the acidity brisk and clean, the finish dry and long.
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The Donum Estate

The Donum Estate

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The Donum Estate, Russian River, Sonoma County, 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.

Russian River

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A standout region for its decidedly Californian take on Burgundian varieties, The Russian River Valley is named for the eponymous river which flows through the region. While there are warm pockets of the AVA, it is mostly a cool-climate growing region thanks to breezes and fog from the nearby Pacific Ocean.

Chardonnay and Pinot Noir reign supreme in Russian River, with the best examples demonstrating a unique combination of richness and restraint. The cool weather makes Russian River an ideal AVA for sparkling wine production, utilizing the aforementioned varieties. Zinfandel also performs exceptionally well here. Within the Russian River Valley lie the smaller appellations of Chalk Hill and Green Valley. The former, further from the ocean, is relatively warm, with a focus on red and white Bordeaux varieties. The latter is the coolest, foggiest parcel of the Russian River Valley and is responsible for outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

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.

SOU320847_2009 Item# 121584