2012 Donum "West Slope" Carneros Pinot Noir

SKU #1273607 95 points Wine Spectator

 A rich, graceful style, with expansive flavors that gain depth and dimension, extending from a core of graphite-laced raspberry, red plum and black cherry fruit to touches of dried herb and loamy earth. Drink now through 2025. (JL)  (2/2015)

94 points Connoisseurs Guide

 A bit riper and fuller and a little more accessible than its slightly tighter East Slope companion, this fleshy, moderately full-bodied Pinot is simply brimming with juicy, red cherry fruit and sweet oak. It already shows a touch of varietal velvet and is beautifully balanced from front to back, and, if it is unquestionably tasty and irresistible stuff in its youth, it has more than enough room for three or four years of growth. Still, it is so easy to like now that we would find it hard to condemn those who impatiently pull its cork considerably sooner.  (6/2015)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2012 Pinot Noir West Slope Reserve is an earthy, concentrated effort displaying notes of sassafras, cola, dark berry and black cherry fruit, forest floor and earth, and a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel. To continue my Burgundian analogies, it comes across like a premier cru from Morey-St.-Denis. Drink this beautiful Pinot Noir over the next 7-8 years. (RP)  (12/2014)

93 points Wine Enthusiast

 Substantive in oak and weight, this concentrated, estate-grown wine is impressive in velvety texture and a savory conjuring of tobacco and black tea. Dark, brambly blackberry and dark cherry join in on the fun, providing vibrancy amid all the sophistication. Finishing with a dash of cardamom, this wine will cellar nicely through 2020. *Cellar Selection* (VB)  (11/2015)

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Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
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- Just across the Golden Gate from San Francisco, Carneros is kept cool by Bay breezes and thick fog, and has long been famous for cool-climate pinot noir, chardonnay and sparkling wine based on the two varietals. Warmer pockets have proved interesting and promising homes for syrah, cabernet and merlot.