2011 Donkey & Goat "Sluice Box" El Dorado White Rhône Blend
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(made from a blend of 50% marsanne, 34% grenache blanc, 14% vermentino and 2% picoul): Hazy yellow-gold. Pear skin, lemon thyme and chamomile on the intriguingly perfumed nose. Fleshy and expansive, offering gently sweet orchard and pit fruit flavors with a refreshing note of bitter lemon pith. The sappy finish shows good bite and a lingering floral note.
San Francisco Chronicle Top 100 Wines of 2012: "The Brandt family tapped some fantastic sources here, including the Fenaughty and Swansboro vineyards, for a mix of Marsanne, Grenache Blanc, Vermentino and Picpoul, partially fermented on its skins. An outstanding Rhone-style white, with textural heft, like the good part of peach nectar, plus lemon curd, olive, green almond and green-tea. A verdant-tasting wine with mineral savoriness and rich, apricot-skin fruit."