A below the radar must have 95 Point Pinot Noir


The name Donnachadh is a 4th century Gaelic name ancestral to modern Scottish Clan Duncan. The clan motto, disce pati, means “learn to endure.” Pronunciation is DON-nuh-kuh.

Donnachadh is a family owned and organically farmed vineyard located in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA of Santa Barbara County. The climate of the Santa Rita Hills is dominated by the Pacific Ocean, which lies about 9 miles from the vineyard. Morning fog cools the grapes and consistent afternoon ocean breezes keep heat from building up over the course of the day. The vineyard consists of two main parts: the hillside blocks, and the riverside blocks. The riverside blocks sit alongside the Santa Ynez River. They are more sheltered from the wind than the hillside blocks and the soil is a delicate and well drained sandy loam that sits on top of deep layers of gravel river deposits. The hillside blocks are more exposed to the ocean winds. The soil there is derived from marine shale deposits and features more clay, rocks and cobbles than the riverside blocks. Overall, the hillside environment is quite challenging for the vines, limiting yields and producing grapes of exceptional character. 

Donnachadh 2018 Pinot Noir Estate Santa Rita Hills 95 Points     
GGWC 59.99
Use code DONNA during checkout

WS 95 POINTS: Smashed raspberry aromas are blasted with pleasantly funky touches of red miso, dried mushroom, toasted sage and other brittle herbs on the nose of this bottling. It presents creamy on the palate at first before light tannins set up the fresh flavors of raspberry and pomegranate, decorated in rose hips and light charcuterie touches.

Winery Notes: “With the addition of a couple of Dijon clones to the mix, we gave up the Heritage Vines designation for 2018 and moved to Estate. In terms of clones and blocks, we carried over the Swan, Calera and Pommard clones that we used in 2017, but added some clone 115 and clone 667 from the hillside blocks. Compared to the ’17, the 2018 Estate Pinot Noir is more concentrated and displays darker fruit but retains balance and elegance. This was a very good year and the best Pinot we have made so far. Aromas of wild sage, strawberry and cherry, violets, forest floor and pitch. In the mouth, a wave of tart red cherries, black raspberries, and plum with sarsaparilla and Earl Grey on the lengthy finish. 11 months in 20% new French oak barrels with about 15% whole cluster.“

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