After the Wine Blogger Conference, Thea, Ashley, & I did a whirlwind tour of Sonoma and Napa. And I really do mean whirlwind….on one day we did both Sonoma and Napa in the same day and STILL managed to stop by to see Patrick and Genevieve and their adorable new son. Our first stop after lunch was a must visit for me after I learned of this winery at last year’s WBC. Oh, and by the way, I still adore those glasses and am now the proud owner of my own pair…you might have seen them popping in pictures over the last 8 months or so! I’m talking about C. Donatiello Winery. If you haven’t been here before, go! Not only are the wines great, but the grounds are worth a trip on their own. I wrote last year all about the aroma garden, which we toured again this year. I found it interesting to see it 3 months earlier in the year since so many different things were in season….I even got to eat some fresh raspberries right off the bush.
However, before touring the facilities (still the CLEANEST winery facilities I have ever, ever visited) we got to sit down for a private tasting with Chris Donatiello. Chris is one of the most animated people I’ve ever seen when he’s talking about his wines. It’s hard not to catch his enthusiasm as he talks about his winery and winemaking and everything else that goes on at the estate. I think Thea and I may have been the only repeat visitors from last year’s blogger visit to C. Donatiello, but we were happy to spread the word to all our new friends and bring them along with us!
2008 Russian River Valley 809 Clone Chardonnay: $32. Lemon, pear, apple, fairly crisp, nice fruit, lemon, citrus, nice acidity, spice, stone, peach.
2006 Russian River Valley Chardonnay: $28. Spice, little bit of wood, cream, apple, golden apple, little chewy, nice fruit, round, spice.
2007 Orsi Vineyard Chardonnay: $38. Cream, much rounder, oak, tropical, green apple, tart pear.
2006 Russian River Pinot Noir: $48. Cherry, spice, herbs, raspberry, tart, cranberry, spice, tannins, little pepper.
2007 Maddie’s Vineyard Pinot Noir: $62. Strawberry, violets, tobacco leaf, raspberry, roses, tart red fruit, refined. I bought a bottle to add to my 2006 Maddie’s…I hope to amass a vertical and share them with some very lucky winos in about 5 years
2007 Floodgate Block 15 Pinot Noir: $55. Black cherry, pepper, spice, raspberry, fruit forward, spice, on the finish, red fruit, tannic.
I highly recommend a visit to C. Donatiello next time you are in the Russian River Valley area. Make sure you leave some extra time to enjoy the beautiful grounds, and don’t be afraid to taste and smell things from the aroma garden…that’s why it’s there!