2011 Donkey & Goat "Five Thirteen" El Dorado Red Wine Blend (Previously $32)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(34% grenache, 32% syrah, 23% mourvedre, 6% counoise and 5% cinsault): Ruby-red. Ripe red fruit aromas are complicated by notes of pungent herbs and licorice. Sappy, spice-accented raspberry and bitter cherry flavors gain sweetness with air and show very good energy and back-end lift. Closes on a medicinal cherry note, with clinging spicecake and cracked pepper notes and chewy tannic grip. This wine will be extremely flexible at the table.
What's not to love about Donkey & Goat? When it comes to natural winemaking and a commitment to purity, Donkey & Goat has it dialed in. To start, all the fruit for their wines is foot-stomped (they don't use machines or plastic), and the wines are fermented naturally using native yeasts with no enzymes or other nutrients added to enhance fermentation. The wines age sur-lie in neutral oak--no new oak here!--and are bottled unfined and unfiltered. Their 2010 "Five Thirteen" Red is a blend of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, and Counoise, a proprietary rendition of a traditional Châteauneuf-du-Pape blend. Like the wines of the Southern Rhone, this wine is flavorful and complex, exhibiting a mix of juicy red and black fruits with notes of cracked pepper, lavender, smoked meats, and garrigue. It finishes with moderate tannins and hints of smoke, just begging for the perfect meal!