Tasting at C. Donatiello aka I want these wine glasses

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.

Me in one of the barrel rooms

Me in one of the barrel rooms

The guys pose for a picture

The guys pose for a picture

Chris leads our tasting

Chris leads our tasting

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 🙂

The aroma garden

The aroma garden

Chris talks to John from Anything Wine about the garden

Chris talks to John from Anything Wine about the garden

View from the deck

View from the deck

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.

Blackmail! Lenn actually drinks CA wine!

Blackmail! Lenn actually drinks CA wine!

Me on the deck

Me on the deck

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 😉

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PS-I Love You: Dark & Delicious

We all know how much I love Petite Sirah.  So much so that last year I hosted a WBW dedicated entirely to the grape.  I routinely buy every Petite Sirah a winery will pour me in their tasting room.  (See my series a few weeks ago on all the PS and PS blends I bought while in Murphys!) Petite Sirah and Petite Sirah blends make up the second most represented type of wines in my basement (ignore my Cellartracker cellar, it’s not quite up to date).

I wish that I could attend the Dark & Delicious event!  This year it’s being held at the Rockwall Wine Company in Alameda, CA from 6-9pm on Friday, February 20.  The cost is $50 in advance, $60 at the door (but really, it’s a popular event, you’ll probably want to buy your tickets early) and includes 3 hours of wine and food.  The list of wineries pouring and vendors serving food keeps growing, just yesterday Stonehenge Winery joined the list alongwith Farm Fresh to You, an organic vegetable producer.

I can personally vouch for the Petite Sirahs from many of the wineries pouring, including Concannon, Teldeschi, Foppiano, Huntington, Mounts Family Winery, Rosenblum Cellars, Trentadue Winery, and Twisted Oak.  I’ve had other wines from several of the wineries as well, though not their PS.

You can get all the details and purchase tickets here.  I will be insanely jealous of all of you who can attend!

P.S.- I am getting free tickets to the event, but I can’t use them, so that’s not the motivation for this post at all! I just think it’s a great event with an amazing line up of PS from at least 37 wineries and at $50 it’s a supreme bargain as far as wine tastings go.