Introducing the Donum Estate Catalog 2023  →

It's always a treat to write the fall member update, and I usually start by saying, "I can't believe harvest is here already…" but this year, the opposite is closer to the truth. After a cold and rainy winter and a mild summer, the start of harvest just kept moving further back. In fact, we harvested our first Pinot Noir lot on September 5th, which was a day later than our last pick in 2022.
As I write this, we are a little over halfway through harvesting and still have the rest of fermentation to get through. Even this early on, it is safe to say that the 2023 vintage has the potential to be excellent as the absence of heat spikes has allowed for slower, even ripening, which means we can pick each vineyard block at the perfect moment. The final quality will, of course, take some time to judge, but all early indications are positive.

An exciting moment for our team was harvesting our first fruit from the recently acquired Savoy Vineyard on September 19th, and the fruit was beautiful. It is a privilege to take over this highly sought-after vineyard, and the Estate-grown Savoy Vineyard Pinot Noir and Chardonnay will make fantastic additions to our wine portfolio.

The fall allocation introduces the 2021 vintage, which was punctuated with an extended late August heat spike that pushed ripeness, resulting in rich and intense wines. Our flagship wine, the 2021 Carneros Estate Pinot Noir, is featured in this allocation and displays a darker fruit profile than our 2019 & 2020 vintages. We are also excited to share another vintage of our classic reserve wine, the 2021 West Slope Pinot Noir, and the newly released 2021 Hypersonic Pinot Noir, sourced from a single block of Mt. Eden Clone, offering amazing balance and elegance.

Last, but not least, we are also excited to share our first-ever red wine not sourced from Pinot Noir grapes: the 2020 Thomas Merlot, sourced from our Thomas Estate Vineyard located just a mile away from our Carneros Estate. When we replanted this vineyard, we decided to pay homage to the history of Carneros, which had significant plantings of Merlot and other Bordeaux varieties before the rise in popularity of Pinot Noir. Merlot thrives in clay soils, which dominate Carneros, so we decided to plant a small parcel at this site to pay tribute to our unique winegrowing region.

Cheers, and thank you for your continued support!

Dan Fishman
Vice President, Winemaking and Vineyards

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