Wine Review: C. Donatiello 2008 Pinot Noir Block 15 Floodgate Vineyard

I have been a fan of C. Donatiello since I discovered them some 18 months ago, both for their wines, and the gorgeous property.
For those who may not yet be familiar with C. Donatiello or its location, Chris Donatiello, in partnership with Bill Hambrecht, purchased the facilities from Belvedere in 2006, and have morphed it into a world class facility and producer of stunning Russian River Valley Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

C. Donatiello’s winemaker is Webster Marquez, also referred to as Web. An affable winemaker,  Web  is focused, committed, and always chasing making his best vintage yet, he comes to C. Donatiello from famous Pinot producer Williams Selyem. (He also has his own small label, Anthill Farms.)

In addition to their winery being a pleasure to visit, renowned for casual yet elegant service, each Sunday from late June through October 3rd they feature live music, with acts from all over the U.S. at no charge. It’s one of my Sunday’ faves, I almost hate to share to keep it smaller, but somethings are too good to keep to your self.

I was long overdue for a full tasting review; and was delighted for an invitation, as well as be one of the first for their new wine and cheese pairing which for $20, is one of the most underpriced, amazing Hedonistic pairings going on in Russian River. More on this in another post, but take my word for it, call for an appointment to schedule one of these.


I have a special interest in this release, having just recently toured Floodgate Vineyard with vineyard manager Warren Burton, and new wine producer Cartograph Wines.

Region/AVA: Block 15, Floodgate Vineyard, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County

Color: Lighter cranberry color, slightly opaque. (A thankful break from the ridiculously dark Pinot’s being produced today by many.)

Aroma: Cherry, Cranberry, with a pleasant touch of Earthiness

In The Mouth: Elegant. Despite the youth of this release, it’s a pleasure in the mouth, with velvet texture, wonderful balance and mouthfeel. Flavors of cherry and red fruit, with a nice finish, and  lingering acidity.

Price: $49 Retail

Wine Geek Info:

  • Harvest DateSept 4, 2008
  • Barrel Program – 10 months French Oak, 35% new
  • Bottled – July 22, 2009
  • 400 cases produced

Highly Recommend.

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