2011 Donelan "Two Brothers" North Coast Pinot Noir

SKU #1184410 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The red wines include the 2011 Pinot Noir Two Brothers which comes from four relatively high elevation sources, three in Sonoma and one in Mendocino. It was aged 18 months in 20% new French oak and finished with 14.4% alcohol. Its medium ruby color is followed by seductive aromas of kirsch, strawberries, loamy soil and a hint of oak in the background. A remarkably successful 2011, it is a medium-bodied, velvety, long Pinot Noir to consume over the next 5-7 years. This is one of the most impressive Rhone Ranger winemaking estates in California. They have also expanded their portfolio to make small quantities of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. For me, the real glories of Donelan Family Wines are their Syrahs. As the tasting notes suggest, 2011 turned out well here despite the challenges. However, if you can still track down a bottle or two of the 2009s and 2010s, you are in for something very special. Joe Donelan believes their finest wine, representing the best vineyard parcels and top barrel selections is the Cuvee Keltie, which normally comes from specific sub-sections of such vineyard sources as Obsidian, Richard’s Family, Steiner Ranch and Walker Vine Hill. Kudos to Donelan Family Wines! (RP)  (12/2013)

92 points Vinous

 Dark red/black cherries, wild flowers, mint and licorice meld together in the 2011 Pinot Noir Two Brothers. Savory notes develop in the glass, adding nuance and aromatic complexity. Hints of sage, sweet tobacco, anise and earthiness meld into a juicy finish supported by firm yet well-integrated tannins that should allow the wine to age nicely for a number of years. The 2011 was fermented with 40% whole clusters and spent 18 months in barrel, 20% new. The sites are Steiner Ranch, Perli, Goldrock Ridge, Walker Vine Hill and a dollop of Gap's Crown. (AG)  (2/2014)

Wine Spectator

 This is marked by a loamy earth presence, with dried berry, herb, sage and cedar notes that end up slightly clipped. Drink now through 2019. (JL)  (12/2013)

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Price: $28.99

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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.


- 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.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.4