I don’t usually obsess over wine glasses. However, the Pinot Noir glasses at C. Donatiello were a thing a beauty. I want to drink Pinot Noir out of them all the time, they were just perfect. Really, I want one. Anyone know what this glass is and where I can get them? Please?
Okay, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, after the Wine Blogger Conference, I got an invitation, along with a bunch of other folks, to head out to C. Donatiello to taste through their wines and get a tour of the facility. C. Donatiello is a relatively new winery, however, it took over the former home of Belvedere in the Russian River Valley. And it replaced it with what had to be the cleanest winery facility I’ve ever seen. The crush and fermenting spaces sparkled, the gardens were manicured to perfection, and the tasting room was gorgeous. I can’t wait to take Matt there on our next Sonoma trip.
Particularly, the gardens fascinated me. They’ve built what they call “aroma” gardens, one portion of which grows herbs, flowers, and fruits that are associated with the aromas and flavors of Chardonnay, and the other which focuses on Pinot Noir flavors and aromas. The garden is just incredibly cool. The folks at the winery encourage you take your glass and wander through the garden, touching, smelling, and even tasting as you go along. I’m sure Chris Donatiello, who led us through our tour and tasting, thought I was nuts when I asked him if I could have a Meyer lemon. Meyer lemons aren’t easy to come by on the East Coast, and I often see people using it to describe Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. So I jumped at the chance to finally figure out what a Meyer lemon tasted and smelled like. I brought it home to VA and Matt and I each took half and smelled and ate it…I’m that dedicated folks, I ate a lemon for you
2007 Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc: $24. Neutral French oak. Pineapple, tropical fruit, grapefruit, crisp, dry, stonefruit, great acidity. Really liked this one.
2007 Christie Vineyard Russian River Valley Chardonnay: $38. Neutral French oak. Toast, green apple, stone, lemon, other citrus, peach.
2006 Russian River Valley Chardonnay: $28. Butterscotch, lemon, celery? Wasn’t a fan of this one.
2006 Orsi Vineyard Russian River Valley Chardonnay: $38. Stones, mineral, lemon, very light.
2006 Floodgate Vineyard Pinot Noir: $57. 30 year old Pinot Noir vines. Tobacco, herb, cherry, rose petal, earth, forrest, ripe red raspberries, red fruit, leather, fabulous structure.
2006 Maddie’s Vineyard Pinot Noir: $61. Mint, menthol, tannic, leather, tart, cherries, raspberries. I took this glass with me for our tour as I thought it had a ton of potential. I was right, as I swirled it and sipped it on our walk through the facility and grounds, it opened up beautifully. I bought one to take home and will hold it for 3+ years.
2006 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir: $48. Cherry candy, black cherry, tannins, red fruit on the back palate, tart.
Overall, the wines were really solid and tasty. I was impressed and happy to have discovered a winery I probably wouldn’t have known about otherwise. But seriously folks, I want a set of those glasses. Or just one for me, Matt can fend for himself