Donkey and Goat The Recluse Broken Leg Vineyard Syrah 2007
Syrah/Shiraz from North Coast, California
The Recluse is what we call our Broken Leg Vineyard Syrah beginning with the 2006 vintage to immortalize that little spider. The 2007 is 100% Broken Leg Vineyard. Like all of our red wines, we only use the machine for whatever level of de-stemming is desired. In this case only we de-stemmed 65% leaving the rest whole cluster. The Broken Leg vineyard also has Viognier planted so we picked a few hundred pounds with the Syrah to result in approximately 3% co-fermented Viognier in our final blend. Crushing is achieved via pigeage à pied (foot stomping). We do not make wine in plastic. All of our reds are fermented in open top wood vats and here we used our 4 ton vat for the first time on this wine which resulted in less temperature extremes and longer mid-range temps (in the high 70's to low 80's). Wild yeasts are employed without nutrients or other enhancers. We punch down by hand up to 3x daily which is an extreme work out in a 4 ton tank with 35% whole cluster! The cooperage was a mix of 1-3 yr old French oak barrels. Malolactic fermentation was natural and completed by early summer. The final blend was assembled in early October and the wine was bottled without fining or filtration on November 18, 2008 and left to bottle age for 9 additional months.
Charcuterie, white and black pepper, tobacco and leather seduce the senses immediately. Cherry, blackberry and blueberry all laced with floral hints and blood orange prepare the palate. An iron ferrous quality runs through with long and chewy tannins. The finish will linger with more notes of cured meats, smoke and mulberry. This Syrah illustrates why we love this varietal and will offer hours of enjoyment as she reveals her secrets (if you can wait that long).
Wine Enthusiast - "Lots of smoky leather and crushed black pepper in this wine, a clear sign the Syrah comes from a cool climate. Crisp acidity, too, giving the wine a bright mouthfeel. Might even have a drop of Viognier. There’s a citrusy lift to the blackberries and black currants. Should develop smoothly through 2013."
International Wine Cellar - "Glass-staining ruby. Expressive, classic syrah aromas of dark berries, violet, smoky herbs and licorice. Sweet, focused blackberry and cassis flavors are lifted by tangy acidity and show a riper plum quality with aeration. A bitter licorice note adds a serious aspect to the long, peppery finish. Showing a lot of sexy fruit now but has the concentration to age."
Wine & Spirits - "From 27-year-old vines, which include a small portion of viognier (3 percent) that co-ferments with the syrah, this is tight and peppery, growing into a tannic beast with air. There's plenty of black raspberry flavor to match the hard tannin, along with a bit of clove-like Brett. Decant this for a wintry braise."
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Donkey and Goat Winery
Donkey & Goat is a family owned and operated winery located in Berkeley California. Tracey & Jared Brandt craft their natural wines from Rhône varietals, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grown in the Anderson Valley, Mendocino Ridge and the undiscovered El Dorado appellation in the Sierra Foothills. Tracey & Jared trained in France, under Éric Texier, an up and coming Rhône winemaker who taught them the art and craft of making wines that speak to the soul about the earth from which they originate. Their maverick winemaking has helped pave the way for the natural wine movement.
They make their wines for the table not the cocktail glass. They make Rhône varietals in both colors plus an atypical Chardonnay and a Pinot Noir true to the varietals nature, striving to make wine as naturally as possible and done so since day one. View all Donkey and Goat Wines
About North Coast
Beyond Napa and Sonoma in the north you find a couple of other counties producing great wine. Among these are Mendocino and Lake County. The northernmost California winegrowing regions, these two counties are right above Napa and Sonoma, geographically. Yet, wine-wise they are very different – both from their southern neighbors and from each other.
Notable FactsMendocino has a high amount of organic vintners and vines. The first winery to settle here was Fetzer, which practices organic viticulture and holds some of the most vineyard land in the area. Mendocino has many pockets of micro-climates while Lake County, being smaller in size, is less diverse climactically. As for the grapes, Chardonnay is the most popular in both counties, but there are also some excellent Sauvignon Blancs, particularly in the Lake County. In red wine, Zinfandel leads the way, followed by Rhone Blends and Petite Sirah. The reds in both counties are complex and sumptuous. Anderson Valley is a sub-AVA of Mendicino and is quite well known for its excellent cool climate, producing the delicious Roederer Estate sparkling wines and some wonderful cool-climate Syrah.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.