2009 C. Donatiello Pinot Noir

Price: $9.99 @ Trader Joe’s

What They Said:

2009 C. Donatiello Winery Pinot NoirPer C. Donatiello Winery “Spicy black pepper, dried cranberries, cola, mocha and cherries on the nose. The palate starts bright and clean with deeply layered flavors of raspberry and rhubarb which give way to flavors of cinnamon and chocolate. The finish is long and clean with balanced tannins, acidity and oak.”

What I Think:

(13.5%) $38 via the winery in an etched bottle, clearly not intended for Trader Joe’s where I picked it up for $10. Bright, big and clean while at the same time balanced. Forward fruit with cherry (cranberry) cola flavors and vibrant acidity. A bit of oak creaminess on the backbone before the fruit turns a tad tart with cinnamon spice (and a bit of heat) on the finish. Not my preferred style but well made, no harsh edges and smooth throughout. If you’re a fan of Russian River (or even more broadly California) Pinot Noir you likely can’t go wrong here…

Rating: Buy It (if you’re a California Pinot fan!)

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5 thoughts on “2009 C. Donatiello Pinot Noir

  1. Thanks for the back-up Jason. I had this guy’s stuff a few years ago and was super-excited to see it in my Order Guide. BTW, if your preferred store has any of the Chardonnay left, Pick It Up! Originally retailed for $24, at $9.99 it’s a super steal. Burgundian in style, full-bodied, mouth-filling with bright acidity and a lovely aroma, I’m thinking it’d be a masterpiece with Thanksgiving dinner. And you know how I generally feel about Chardonnay ; )

  2. The pinot is already no longer orderable over here…agree with Jason that it’s solid though not really my style either. Thanks Angela, I will have to try the chardonnay before that’s gone too.

    Off-topic thoughts on other TJ wines:
    - St. Somewhere Malbec from Paso Robles is my current easy pick for single best red value ($10).
    - 2009 TJ’s Grand Reserve Cab is disappointingly over-oaked for me…hearing the Meritage may be better.
    - Reserve Chile Red is a pleasant, very interesting blend of cab franc and petit verdot. Found Object Petit Verdot from the same producer is ok but far less polished.
    - Reserve North Coast Sparkling Brut is relatively bland and course, not living up to the usual standards of TJ’s Reserves.
    - Would love to hear if anyone has tried the new G. Chevalier Sauternes (limited quantity second label of a First Growth)!

    • Having my first taste at the moment. Found the bottle at TJ’s in Cambridge this afternoon. The association with Ch. Guiraud caught my eye, at $12.99/375ml it was certainly worth a try. It is a fine example of sauterne character, in both nose and taste, and exhibits a very plesant and long after taste. It certainly compares favorably with sauternes I have tasted in the past that cost significantly more, and deliver far less pleasure. Yquem it is not, but it cannot be characterized as insipid.

  3. Just had the C. Donatiello Chardonnay, and it shows every bit of its heavily oaked pedigree- 10 months in French oak, 35% of it new. Good acidity though, and I recognize plenty of people will be happy to get this style for $10.

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