The Donum Estate Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2014
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Founded in 2001, the Donum Estate in the acclaimed wine region of Carneros brings to life a delicate balance between wine, land and art that has made it an international destination for enthusiasts and connoisseurs everywhere. Celebrating its 20th vintage this year, the Donum Estate creates single vineyard, single appellation Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from small lots that distinctly express the characteristics of each terroir. Each bottling represents a unique voice.
The Donum Estate spans over 200 acres, with nearly 150 planted. Its winemaking practices create environments in which the vines can thrive and produce the highest-quality fruit as possible, with as little intervention as possible. Sustainability is at the forefront of the Donum Estate vision—let the land lead. Donum, in fact, is Latin for Gift of the land.
More than 40 large-scale, open-air sculptures live harmoniously among the Donum Estate landscape and vineyards. Dotted throughout, each piece plays with scale, nature, and imagination. Many pieces were curated in collaboration with Donum’s owners and the artist, uniquely created to fit with the land. The collection brings together a global community of artists, including works from Ai Weiwei, Keith Haring, Subodh Gupta, Doug Aitken, and many more, with art lovers who themselves represent the world.
It’s the commitment to this partnership—between wine, land and art—that has created a truly interactive experience at the Donum Estate. To visit, and to enjoy its wine, is to feel the living, breathing balance that makes it come alive.
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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 that flows through it. 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, farther 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.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”