Small Sips of Pinot
The Robert Stemmler Pinot Noirs reviewed below are newly released. The winegrower is Anne Moller-Racke
of The Donum Estate and the winemaker is Kenneth Juhasz. These are solid, well-crafted Pinot Noirs you can
put on the dinner table and be proud of.
2007 Robert Stemmler Estate Grown Carneros Pinot Noir
14.4% alc., pH
3.70, 3,500 cases, $36. The label is inspired by Le Vendange, a 14th century
tapestry displayed in the Cluny Museum in France. Represents every part of the
Donum Ranch including Dijon, Martini, Roederer, Calera, Hanzell and Swan
selections planted in 1989-1990. 100% de-stemmed, native fermentation and
Burgundian yeast isolate inoculation. Aged in 40% new French oak. Lovely
aromas of red fruits, lemon cola, cherry cobbler and mint.
with a note of chocolate-filled brioche. On the light side with a good spark of
acidity on the short finish. Good.
2007 Robert Stemmler Nugent Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
14.4% alc., pH 3.65, 1,100
cases, $40. 11-acre tightly spaced vineyard planted in 1997 to Dijon clones 115 and 667. 100% de-stemmed.
Aged 11 months in 45% new French oak.
The nose is filled with very ripe cherry fruits complimented by
Provencal herbs and oak. The black cherry and plum core falls just short of overripeness. A hint of oak, tea
and fig adds interest. Nicely crafted and silky textured with a satisfying finish. Good.
2007 Robert Stemmler Ferguson Block Carneros Pinot Noir
14.4% alc., pH
3.52, $44. From the oldest portion of the Donum Estate planted in 1974 to
Martini selection on St. George rootstock. Yields are one tone per acre. 100%
de-stemmed, native fermentation and Burgundian yeast isolate inoculation. Aged
11 months in 35% new, tight-grain French oak.
Distinctive aromas of cassis,
rose petals, green bean, tar and compost bin. Rustic and earthy with a heart of
black currants and creme de cassis. Silky smooth with balancing tannins and
bright acidity on the finish. Takes on more charm with time in the glass but
remains a man’s wine. Good.