2006 The Donum Estate Carneros Pinot Noir

Mission Codename: The Prefect

Operative: Agent Red

Objective: Infiltrate The Donum Estate and acquire a small allotment of their delicious, 93-point, Carneros Estate Grown Pinot Noir

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: The Dunum Estate

Wine Subject: 2006 Carneros Pinot Noir

Winemaker: Kenneth Juhasz

Backgrounder: Some of our favorite California Pinot Noir comes from the independent Carneros viticultural area, a wine growing region which straddles the Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley. Originally designated in 1983, the region’s distinct Terroir and cool climate make it one of the best regions for the Burgundian varietals of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The first grapes were planted here in the early 1800s by missionaries. The cool Carneros region provides ideal growing conditions for Pinot Noir, which thrives here.

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Opaque antique pink, with a darker heart of strawberry hue. Swirl the wine and watch it settle quickly, leaving behind skinny legs that start slowly, then streak down the glass.

Smell – Lead by tart young strawberry and raspberry, then fresh forest floor, redwood bark, cherry, leather, smoky thanksgiving spices and subtlest green tobacco leaf.

Feel – Dry but plush and full up front, then round and creamy across the mid palate, where the wine settles in and shows off a medium weight, rich body and a high-note acidity.

Taste – Tart young strawberry with concentrated jammy fruit of cherry, blackberry, red currant, black currant and smoky cranberry. These are layered atop fresh forest floor, redwood bark, clove, red licorice and mineral salt.

Finish – Long in length with the tart back cherry, redwood and spice tailing off slowly.

Conclusion – This is a powerful wine that delivers boldness and big character, while illustrating the powerful influences that the Carneros Region and great winemaking have on Pinot Noir. Donum’s amazing Carneros Pinot Noir fruit is the paint which winemaker, Kenneth Juhasz, splashes across the canvas to create today’s Pinot masterpiece. Be sure to decant this wine for best results, as the introduction of some oxygen coaxes softer edges from the wine, delivering a more plush and more balanced drinking experience. Our tasting panel paired this wine with a variety of California gourmet foods, including chicken & waffles with fruit compote, heirloom tomato salad with vinegar and herbs, flatbreads and more. The wine paired beautifully with everything.

Mission Report:


SUBJECT: Kenneth Juhasz

WINE EDUCATION: Industry Learned

CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Began working with Donum Estate in 2002, now consult with several California wineries and own Auteur

WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Dualism, great structure while maintaining elegance

FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: Summer 2003 – 2002 Stemmler Carneros Estate Grown Pinot Noir


AGENT RED: Greetings, Kenneth, we are thrilled to be showing your 2006 Donum Estate Carneros Pinot Noir today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.

KENNETH JUHASZ: Thanks for having me back!

RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?

KENNETH: No, it was a series of experiences in the restaurant business where I came to understand the beauty and lifestyle of wine and the culture around it.

RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?

KENNETH: Montrachet

RED: Who do you make wine for?

KENNETH: I make wine for the vineyard, I do everything or as little as possible to let the vineyard speak.

RED: In your opinion, what makes the Carneros region so special?

KENNETH: Not only its beauty, but the maritime feel of Southern Carneros; often you can taste the sea salt in the air and sometimes in the wine from the breezes that blow off San Pablo Bay.

RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?

KENNETH: Harvest!

RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?

KENNETH: Do not expect all power, look for and enjoy finesse.

RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

KENNETH: Thank you, it has been a pleasure working with you.

RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!

Wine Spies Vineyard Check:

The approximate location of the Donum Estate can be seen in this satellite photo.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: