2012 Donkey & Goat El Dorado Grenache Noir

SKU #1135477 96 points Wine Enthusiast

 Spicy in aroma and mouthfeel, this is a wondrous wine, gorgeous in lovely ripe cherry and strawberry and completely enveloped in thrills of white pepper. Those who love cooler climate Rhônes will find much to ponder and celebrate here. Racy, it is fragrant and lean, made without fining or filtering. Seek this one out.  (9/2013)

K&L Notes

Grenache doesn't get much better than this. At K&L we taste a lot of Grenache, so that's saying something. It's driven by pure spicy red fruits, with notes of anise and a hint of herb. There's a vibrancy, purity, and length to this wine typically not captured in Grenache, from any part of the world, much less the warm El Dorado hills. Here's what the folks at Donkey & Goat have to share: "Efforts in the vineyard pay off in the winery with a traditionally made Grenache. De-stemmed and whole cluster are mixed in a 5 ton wood fermenter and allowed to ferment naturally. As in all of our wines, nothing is added - no commercial yeast, no nutrients, no additives. JUST Grapes. After fermentation, the wine was pressed to neutral French Oak and aged for six months. This bottling is a select set of barrels exhibiting the youthful energy we wanted to capture in bottle. After tasting our a previous vintage of our Grenache, Jon Bonne, wine writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, tweeted that we were the 'Grenache Whispers'." We couldn't have said it better. Bravo!

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Price: $24.99
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- Fat, ripe and rich with ample fruit and vibrant acidity, wines made from Grenache are easy to love. While its origins are still under dispute - some suggest Spain, where it is called Garnacha, while others say it came first from Sardinia, where it is called Cannonau - it is inarguably one of the most planted varietals in the world. A hearty grape, Grenache does well in hot, dry regions and its sturdy stalk also makes it well-suited to withstand blustery conditions like the Provençal Mistral. It ripens at relatively high sugar levels, which translates to higher potential alcohol in the wines it produces. Grenache may be most famous in the Southern Rhône areas such as Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Gigondas where it has long been an important component of delicious blends. But it's also the source of the crisp rosés from Tavel, Lirac and Provence, and age-worthy vins doux naturels like Rivsaltes and Banyuls. Grenache is also found in large swaths of northeastern Spain, in Navarre, in Rioja, where it plays a supporting role in blends with Tempranillo, and in the distinctive wines of Priorat. The grape was once the most widely planted varietal in Australia, though Shiraz and Cabernet have overtaken it. In California, Grenache plantings have dwindled from their heyday in the San Joaquin Valley, but it is starting to see a resurgence, albeit in smaller plantings, where other Rhône varietals thrive.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Sierra Foothills/El Dorado

- This sweeping inland territory (an AVA on its own right), encompassing El Dorado, Fiddletown, Shenandoah and Amador, has been on the grape-growing map since the Gold Rush. With the exception of high-altitude El Dorado, the vineyards here are sun-baked and hot—in other words, best suited to old-vine zinfandel, petit sirah and Rhône varietals. The cooler climes of El Dorado are ideal for cabernet, chardonnay and merlot.