Gift of the Land
Updated: May 15, 2023
We were offered the opportunity as the exclusive distributor of Donum wines in Hong Kong towards the end of 2020. One step at a time, we have been able to increase its market awareness and already there is a steady following by some. Many of you may not know “Donum” is actually a Latin word meaning “the gift of land”. Core to Donum Estate’s pursuit of excellence is the belief in taking care of the land and maintaining healthy, living soil as a pre-condition for good fruits from the vines. This will in turn lead to the resulting wines truly an expression of the land too.
Donum Estate is committed to organic farming and encourages biodiversity in and around the vineyards. Specifically, this includes brewing and applying compost tea, incorporating sheep, chickens and ducks for weed and pest management, producing and utilizing biochar, and beekeeping. Indeed several vineyards of Donum have achieved organic certification by the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) and are also regenerative certified by the Regenerative Organic Alliance (ROA). These represent Donum Estate’s continuous efforts to work in harmony with nature in giving back more to the land than taking out.
Making use of the surrounding ecosystem and working with local makers, a Home Collection has been created that includes tea, olive oil, lavender-infused culinary salt and honey. These are all of very high quality and authentic expressions of the love and respect of the land. When Donum Estate CEO Angelica de Vere-Mabray and Winemaker Dan Fishman visit Hong Kong later this month to host wine dinners at the Hong Kong Club and the American Club, some of these will be served not only to enhance the participants’ dining experience but also to allow for a more complete understanding of Donum Estate’s philosophy.
And on that note, we are launching two more Donum wines from the 2020 vintage (see below). There are others from our latest additions too:
2020 Donum Russian River Valley Estate Chardonnay (WE95 at HK$620/bottle) – Medium straw to golden in colour, this white boasts aromas of lemon, orange rind, apple and fresh cut hay. The palate shows exotic flavours of lemon, orange blossom, white currant and almond paste. The finish is lifted and complex, with notes of spice lingering.
2020 Donum Estate East Slope Reserve Pinot Noir (WA96 at HK$1,050/bottle) – A more recent endeavour, this red offers intense aromas of raspberry and strawberry jam, orange peel, conifer and earth with soaring violet perfume. The medium-bodied palate is silky and layered, drawing you back in on the flavourful finish. Only 600 bottles produced.
NV Ulysse Collin Les Maillons Blanc de Noirs V18 (WA97 at HK$2,900/bottle) – From one of the iconic houses specialized to produce NV champagnes, this one opens in the glass with scents of sweet Mirabelle plum, honeycomb, orange, bee pollen and spices. It is full-bodied, fleshy and yet seamless, developing into a midpalate that is fine, giving almost like a pillowy mousse feel, and concluding with a sapid, penetrating finish.
2016 Lagrange (WA95 at HK$450/bottle) – Great valued Bordeaux red offering notions of candid violets, cassis, black plum, Black Forest cake, cedar and yeast extract scents. Medium to full-bodied, it has good structure with ripe, fine-grained tannins, finishing long and layered.
2016 La Gravette de Certan (WA95 at HK$600/bottle) – A junior sibling of the excellent Bordeaux Ch. Vieux Ch. Certain, it more than holds its grade by offering a great nose of lovely red currants, black raspberries and black cherries with a floral background of lavender, rose plus suggestions of sandalwood, cinnamon and menthol. Medium-bodied, refreshing and elegant, it has a layered structure and finishes with impressive length.
2012 Leoville Las Cases (WA95 at HK$1,350/bottle) – Swirling it in the glass, you immediately sense the rich aromas of berries, plums, baking spices and hints of soil and pencil shavings. It is medium to full-body, lively and layered, with impressive concentration for the vintage. Seamless and beautiful, this quintessential classic is already quite approachable, though of course it still has several decades of evolution ahead.
2010 Xavier Vignon CNDP Anonyme (WA95 at HK$350/bottle) – We are re-stocking this popular Rhone red which is powerful and rich at nearly 16% natural alcohol. Full-throttle with copious black cherry, blueberry, lavender and graphite characteristics, it is immensely enjoyable for those opting for a strong palate.
2017 Markus Molitor Brauneberger Klostergarten Pinot Noir*** (WA95 at HK$650/bottle) – For anyone wanting to explore German Pinot, there is not many better examples than this gorgeous wine which is deep and complex. The nose exhibits an intense cherry aroma intertwined with stones and herbs. Silky, round and elegant on the palate, there is plenty of body, yet always refined and full of energy.
2014 La Ca’ Nova Barbaresco Montestefano (VN96 at HK$350/bottle) – Good explosive red from NW Italy that covers every corner of the palate with bright acidity, structure and ample dark cherry, orange peel, spice, leather and tobacco, ending with an exotic, resonating finish.
2018 Raul Perez Ultriea de Valtuille (WA98 at HK$500/bottle) – Spanish red out of the Mencia grape varietal by the one who was awarded European winemaker of the year. Very good now, you feel that this is designed for the long run. Subtle, elegant juicy tannins, great balance and enduring length…all signs of a legend in the making.
Thank you for reading. Please feel free to go to our website www.vinopolis.com.hk to browse the full wine list. Purchases can be made through the website or by sending us an e-mail or simply WhatsApp 9195-7383.