Tag Archives: Rosé wine review

Donkey and Goat at Faro, Brooklyn

24 Apr

“Isabel’s Cuvée” Grenache Gris Rosé 2018 by Donkey & Goat; Mendocino county,  McDowell Valley AVA, California, USA. 12.5% ABV, SRP $28/bottle.

The color is reminiscent of cloudy grapefruit juice. The nose offers rose bush, citrus, and apple blossoms. On the palate are rich apple and pear with strawberry, blood orange, and a lovely acidity. I did not want to put this glass down. From ancient vines planted in 1896 in soil of gravel & sandy loam comes this creamy, spicy delight on the palate. Light with a hint of fruit and spice.

Had Tracey been selling these bottles from the trunk of her car, I would have bought a case right then and there.

But there was much more to taste!

 

 

From left to right: The Bear, Eliza, Gadabout, Isabel’s Cuvée.

 

 

Over the years I have had many readers ask me to review Donkey and Goat  by owners/operators Tracey & Jared Brandt. They are passionate about their fruit and winemaking, working with sustainable, biodynamic, and organic vineyards and using as little intervention as possible. Their wines are unfined and unfiltered, so their cloudiness may take you off-guard. But taste them, and find that you may like what they are doing, and join the crowd to enjoy the luscious flavors of the fruit of their labor!

 

 

 

2017 “Gadabout” White Field Blend by Donkey and Goat; Berkeley, California, USA. 13.2% ABV; Street Price @ $24/bottle.

 

Color is a cloudy pale straw. The nose offers a theme of funk and zippy acidity. On the palate is a citrus punch blend of lemon and lime with peach, pear, and wildflowers. A mid-weight wine with an even and extended finish, I could enjoy this all day long. Yet it manages to pair with savory food; it surprised me by having enough weight to stack up to Faro’s absolutely delicious beef tartare.

 

 

 

One of two ‘starting point wines’,  for Donkey & Goat, The Gadabout features an El Dorado chardonnay which is then blended with picpoul for acidity. To add texture, Tracey says she added first vermentino, and then marsanne to add depth. Where it ends up is a tasty Rhône-style blend with nice body and mid-palate acidity.

 

From left to right: The Bear, Eliza, Gadabout, Isabel’s Cuvée. 

 

I like where this started on my first sip but it opened up more as the evening progressed. I’d be interested to taste this with more air, if I had more to taste. In general, it seems that Donkey and Goat wines will improve with decanting or a great amount of air exposure.

 

 

“Eliza” 2016 Rhône Style Blend by Donkey & Goat; Barsotti Vineyards, El Dorado AVA; California, USA. 12.5% ABV, SRP $47/bottle.

 

Color is a cloudy goldenrod. The nose offers an earthy quality, then exotic floral and jasmine tea notes. On the savory palate is a mix of Golden Delicious apple and Bosc pear with toasted almond, vanilla, lemon zest, honeysuckle and marzipan. Secondary notes include toasted oats, potting soil, and smoke. On the finish are hints of tangerine and apricot. This is a Rhône blend based on the clairette grape, with vermentino, picpoul blanc, grenache blanc, and finally roussanne. This wine is an unusual mixture, aged for ten months in oak, and the deeper one looks, the more layers one finds. Taste, aroma, and weight of the mouthfeel are fascinating the more you consider this wine, but it’s just as easy to simplify and enjoy. Your mileage may vary for street price if you can find it locally- I expect it’s far pricier in NYC than on the west coast. But this is a fun winelover’s bottle!

 

 

If you happen to be a fan of beef tartare, take note: Chef Kevin Adey’s is a must-have!
I’m lucky I was able to stop
devouring this to take a picture at Faro; it was simply that good.

 

 

If I had to get this wine into a single sentence, I’d give it this:
A Rhône-inspired savory blend with awesome acidity: a yummy, geeky wine!! This wine is a tasty gem for regular white drinkers; for oenophiles, this is a really fun glass (or bottle) to enjoy or discuss.

 

Faro’s stunning take on Gnocchi with lamb.

This wine was good with the house bread & butter, awesome with the beef tartare, and delicious with rich lamb gnocchi (see: food porn above). Did I mention Faro’s Michelin Star? Now I have. In short, Chef Adey’s Menu is fascinating, the food is fabulous, and you’ll enjoy yourself immensely!

Getting back to the wine:  Eliza can handle the food! Depending on the price I might not grab more than a few bottles, but it’s absolutely the kind of gift bottle I’d pick up for serious wine drinkers or for a meal where you want a white wine that can stand up to heavy protein. Eliza can do it…ah, you think, “maybe that’s why she’s named ELIZA?”  (Pause. If you don’t get the reference to Shaw/Pygmalion/My Fair Lady, just skip ahead, ok? -Editor)

 

Tracey Brant, Donkey & Goat

 

If you like natural or organic wines, then you owe it to yourself to check out Donkey & Goat. They are harder to find on the east coast, but that’s what wine clubs are for, aren’t they?

 

#WIYG?

 

à votre santé!

 

Day Owl Rosé for National Rosé Day

9 Jun

This Saturday, June 10th is National Rosé Day. So here is a day-drinker’s rosé for you!

Day Owl Rosé 2016 by O’Neil Vintners; Parlier, California. ABV 12%. Street price $12-14/bottle.

Color is rose gold, while the nose offers strawberries, wildflower, and just a hint of earth/funk. On the palate, cherry, dried raspberries, fresh cut grass, a hint of watermelon, with notes of gravel and sandy clay on the finish, which retains a mouthfeel of the cherry flavor long past completion of the sip. Delightfully bright and oh so easy to drink, this is one of those wines where my two ounce tasting pour feels so insignificant that I  want to pour as much of the bottle into a pint glass just to quench my thirst, it’s so refreshing.

 

This rosé is made from 100% Barbera and while it can easily pair with food, it was really made to take you from just before lunch into an afternoon of day-drinking. You can safely pick up a few bottles or a case and know this is a crowd-pleaser, easy on the wallet, and easy going down.

 

 

How do I know this? Not just because I had that instinct, which I did, but suppressed. But this evening, my adult daughter  came over while I was writing tasting notes and asked for a sip. I obliged, as she has an excellent palate but often surprises me by liking different wines than I do. She tried it, and said “Oh, that’s good. I’d like more of that. As a matter of fact, I could drink that all day and be WGD. It’s delicious!”  After thinking about it for a second, I  asked if I should I assume that WGD means ‘white girl drunk’ and she replied, “Oh, yes,” laughed, turned and left.

 

Here’s wishing you a very happy National Rosé Day! And please, I urge you to enjoy, but drink responsibly.

 

 

à votre santé!

 

#WBC16 Lodi Live Wine Blogging: White & Rosé Wines

16 Aug

Q: What do you know about Lodi wine?

A: I knew that I should expect the unexpected.

I was floored at the quality of grapes being grown and the wines being made. Albariño, Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewürztraminer, Roussane, Picpoul Blanc, Verdelho… need I go on? Ok! Grenache Blanc, Kerner, Dornfelder, Viognier…there is some amazing wine being made here, and it’s time we got to see it on the East coast!

I like many things about the Wine Blogger’s Conference, but my favorite “event” is without a doubt,  Live Wine Blogging. It requires preparation, dedication, focus, and is SUCH an intense event! I couldn’t wait to share my posts, sent during the live tasting via Twitter (please follow me @jvbunbcorked) but here they are, assembled into a fun, convenient package together! Ready for the white and rosé wines from Table 11? GO! 

IMG_0021Corner103’s 2015 Sauvignon Blanc. Sonoma funky nose, grapefruit, kiwi, bright acidity. Fun summer in a bottle!

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Old vine Zin OZV Rosé- orange peel nose, red berry fruit on the palate – a tasty steal under $12

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Peirano Estate Chardonnay ’14. A bold chard: Apple, vanilla, rich buttery oak Retail $14- mom’s fave!

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2001 Lucas Chardonnay Beautifully aged chard, structured and balanced so nicely, w/hint of oak!

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Harney Lane 2015 Albariño: Lodi’s softer side: complex with great acidity, drink me w/ fish or poolside!

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Bookisch Vineyard’s 2015 Albariño Terra Alta Vineyard Gorgeous aromatics, key lime and grapefruit favors OrganicCert

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Lange Twins 2015 Rosé of Sangiovese: Strawberry-orange, drink all day by the beach and pair with shellfish!

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Superbly fun 2015 white barbera from d’Art Wines. White orchid, savory nose, stone fruit+ acidity in the mouth. @$20?Get some!

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Michael David Winery’s 2015 Sauv Blanc that doesn’t taste like grapefruit? This rocks!! Clean guava, pear, kiwi. Superb!

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Trione 2015 NZ style, oaked Sauvignon Blanc w/ stone fruit & rosy, wet slate nose. 13.8ABV, $23

Lodi Winemakers continue to break boundaries and prove that they can grow almost any varietal and make simply stunning wines in this unusual AVA. If reading my live tweets doesn’t get you interested in tasting these wines, then you must be waiting for the RED WINE live tweeting! I promise, you won’t wait long. Cheers from Table 11! 

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à votre santé!

Grange des Dames Ventoux Rosé

18 Jul

Grange Des Dames Ventoux Rosé 2014; Rhone, France. $12/bottle online; 13% ABV.

Delicate pink in color with a nose of fresh strawberries and rose blossoms. Dry on the palate, an ideal food complement: direct, supple, and refined. Blended from 60% grenache noir, 20% cinsault, and 20% carignan. Like a ray of late afternoon sunshine, a delightful moment on the palate before I hungrily downed the sip and looked for another. For several days after long work hours, I enjoyed coming home to this wine and didn’t wait for food to enjoy a glass, though I appreciated it just as much with food and again afterwards with a gentle goat’s milk cheese. The expressive red fruit, floral bouquet, and balanced acidity make this wine so easy to drink that I wish I had several bottles to share with friends this summer.

Ventoux Rose

à votre santé!

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