Melanie's Wine Reviews,Wine

Melanie’s Wednesday Wines ~ November 7, 2007

Melanie Hoffman

The Donatis came to Paicines (pronounced pie see ness), in California’s Central Coast, in 1998 when they purchased land that would soon become home to Matt Donati and his family. Since then, Matt and his father Ron have been engaged in planting the family vineyard and planning their state-of-the-art winery. Today, the guiding principles of quality and cooperation, along with a steadfast work-ethic, underscore all that is accomplished in the busy days on the family vineyard. “Our philosophy is to grow grapes of the highest possible quality, so that wines made from our fruit can meet the quality expectations of our customers,” says Matt. “This requires attention to detail, evaluation of new grape growing and winemaking methods and technologies, and a passion for serving our customers.” This is done in a groundbreaking environment, as the Donatis expect to establish the Paicines AVA (American Viticultural Area) as a growing region with the potential of neighboring Mt. Harlan AVA (Calera Winery) and Chalone AVA (Chalone Vineyard).

Donati Family Vineyard, 2006 Pinot Blanc, Paicines – $15.00 ~ A floral and fruity nose reveals fragrances of star jasmine, kiwi fruit, and the added freshness after the rain. The bouquet hints of grapefruit in the back end. Flavors open with lemon custard that evolves into juicy nectarine and peach flavors mid-palate. Gentle, juicy finish of apricot jam and dried figs.

Pair with your favorite cheese and charcuterie plate. Some of my favorites; creamy triple cream cheeses, firm smoked gouda, and a mild blue, like Maytag blue cheese. Aged meats; Dry Coppa, Prociutto wrapped melon slices, Salame Toscano, and Salametti. And a selection of mixed olives, nuts, and a spoon full of honey. Bon appétit!

Donati Family Vineyard, 2006 Pinot Grigio, Paicines ~ Bright fruity nose expresses gooseberry aromas with hints of wild raspberry blossoms. Bouquet finishes with the fragrance of star fruit. Satin palate of blood orange and lime. A balanced and refreshing quaffer with added notes of cilantro. A hint of nutmeg spice in the long, lingering finish.

Pair with fresh Asian cuisine, like Vietnamese grilled pork over vermicelli. The mint and cilantro in the dish will compliment the wine’s flavors perfectly.

Donati Family Vineyard, 2006 Chardonnay, Paicines ~ Crisp fall apple orchard aromas. Mouth watering and juicy bouquet offers vanilla, toasty oak and nutmeg. Reminiscent of holiday apple pie, fresh from the oven. Palate follows nose with more flavors of mom’s apple pie at the family holiday dinner. Simply sunshine in the glass. Very balanced; long and lingering finish of comforting flavors.

A perfect match for the holiday, roast turkey, baked honey glazed ham; or for every day affairs, try a gorgonzola and walnut stuffed chicken breast on a bed of wilted balsamic spinach.

Donati Family Vineyard, 2005 Claret, Paicines ~ Bright bouquet of huckleberry pie, nutmeg spice adds pleasantly to the aromas. A hint of sweet basil and toasty oak with added vanilla round out the nose. Jammy palate follows nose with more huckleberry flavors. Balanced wine, huge mouthfeel, nice oak, and good tannin structure. Lingering finish of mulberry jam.

I paired this wine with lightly breaded and pan fried pork chops, fresh apple sauce, and petite pea risotto; my taste buds were tantalized.

Donati Family Vineyard, 2004 Meritage, Paicines | 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 8% Malbec, 3% Cabernet Franc ~ Earthy nose displays raspberry jam, dried figs, and sweet oak. More raspberry flavors on the palate with a hint of rosemary. Nice structure and good oak with a strawberry jammy finish that lasts.

Prime Rib dinner with fresh horseradish, garlic mashed potatoes, and autumn vegetable medley of sautéed baby carrots and Brussels sprouts.

Donati Family Vineyard, 2005 Cabernet Franc, Paicines ~ Aromas of cranberry compote open the bouquet, with added sweet oak vanilla, and cocoa powder. Palate follows nose with more cranberry and chocolate flavors. Nice tannins and a big, juicy cherry finish.

This wine would pair well with hearty Italian dishes, like homemade lasagna, or baked ziti topped with fresh grated parmesan.

Donati Family Vineyard, 2005 EZIO, Paicines | 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 48% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 4% Malbec, 2% Petite Verdot ~ Bouquet of blueberry jam and fresh baked Sweet French bread. Notes of sweet cream and cinnamon at the back end of the aromas. Palate follows nose with more blueberry flavors and sweet spices. Juicy, jammy, long, lingering and delicious.

This wine would be delicious with rack of lamb over sweet potato mashers and a side of Blue Lake green beans.

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