Jun 172014
C Donatiello Chardonnay Rowen’s Vineyard 2012, Russian River Valley, CA, $38 – Rating 91

Aged for 10 months in French oak, this chardonnay is a real pleaser,C Donatiello Chardonnay Rowen's Vineyard 2012 offering a defined nose of baked red apple, cinnamon and pie spice. A round mouth-feel with balanced acidity. Flavors of ripe red apple, pear, ripe pineapple, Meyer lemon, Mexican vanilla and tropical notes. Citrus and minerality are focused in the finish. Buy This Wine

Apr 022014

Last October we attended a wonderful event, Pinot on the River, on the town square in Healdsburg. It is a Pinot Noir lover’s dream, featuring over 100 of Sonoma’s best Pinot producers. As you’d expect, we tasted some amazing wine and met some outstanding winemakers.

Bucher Vineyard

John and Diane Bucher

As the afternoon crowd dwindles towards the end of the event, the buzz begins from those in the know. Some of the loudest buzz was around Bucher Vineyard, a 38 acre vineyard in the Russian River Valley, not far from Healdsburg. Single vineyard designated Bucher Vineyard Pinot Noirs have been created by some of the most renown Sonoma vintners, including Williams Selyem, Siduri Wines, Papapietro Perry, Arista, HoldredgeC. Donatiello Winery, and Thralls Family Cellars.

While I was familiar with the vineyard name and the wines made by other producers, the buzz was actually about the wines under the new Bucher Vineyard label. So we had to check them out. I must say they were indeed buzz-worthy. Just a day later we spent a few relaxing hours with John and Diane Bucher at their home on their 360 acre ranch which includes the vineyard and a 700 head organic dairy farm. Continue reading »

Mar 242014
C donatiello wineC. Donatiello Pinot Noir 2012, Bucher Vineyard, Russian River Valley, CA, $55 – Rating 93

Another excellent Pinot Noir from this outstanding Russian River Valley vineyard. Aromas abound of cherry, blueberry, red fruit and earthy spices. A soft and round mouth-feel but in a leaner style with balanced acidity. Integrated flavors of red cherry and chocolate with notes of strawberry, raspberry and spice. Interesting hints of espresso in the long finish. Great as a food accompaniment or just to enjoy for its own sake. Buy This Wine

Nov 162013

Dry Creek AVA

A Dry Creek AVA

Barring another wine country emergency (sarcasm), our visits this fall were our last California wine journeys for 2013. The sigh of relief from winemakers across both Napa and Sonoma was audible as the harvest came to an end.

A  textbook growing season created much excitement in all the wineries we visited as bin after bin of near perfect grapes arrived to be carefully converted into the elixir of the Gods. The excitement and anticipation for these wines once bottled, is the talk of most winemakers we met.

Fall in wine country is a surreally beautiful time with acre after acre of vineyards turning Technicolor shades of yellow, gold, red and maroon. Interestingly enough some of the older vines fighting various vineyard plant diseases create the most vibrantly colored fall leaves. Could this colorful display be the vine’s farewell gift to those of us who loved their annual gift of grapes? Continue reading »

Oct 032013
2011 C. Donatiello Winery Tina Marie Vineyard Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, CA, $55 – Rating 92

Small artisan production of only 126 cases aged in 65% neutral oak allowing this Green Valley vineyard to speak. A complex nose of cherry and ripe plum with definite hints of bacon. On the palate,  balanced integrated tannins offer up a silky mouth-feel with vibrant food pairing acidity. Complex  notes of cherry, ripe raspberry, dark chocolate and blackberry with a touch of crispy bacon and terrior earthiness. A long finish with subtle saddle leather notes. Get this wine while you can. Buy This Wine