2015 Donkey & Goat "Gadabout" California White Blend
Limpid gold. Ripe melon, pear and nectarine on the ginger- and mineral-accented nose, complicated by a subtle hint of smoky lees. Juicy and supple on the palate, offering an array of sappy orchard and pit fruit flavors given spine and lift by juicy acidity. Clings quite nicely on the finish, which leaves notes of candied fig and pit fruits behind. The wines from this winery are always some of the most interesting bottlings from California that I taste. Made in minimalist fashion, without sulfur additions and usually with long macerations followed by bottling without fining or filtration, they are definitely not for those who demand squeaky-clean, by-the-numbers winemaking. That said, I don't recall any recent Donkey & Goat wines showing excessive funk, gaminess, oxidation or re-fermentation, all qualities that I think plague too many wines made in the "natural" fashion. The white wines can be wild and hazy guys but not in the scary biology-experiment way that makes so many "natural" white wines resemble cider or Gueuze beers, or even just garden-variety vinegar. (JR)
Wine & Spirits
This blend of white Rhône varieties and chardonnay is ripe and warm, yet there’s a salty, granular edge to its mango and papaya flavors. Send it toward whole grilled sea bass.
This is a wine for a patient person, because its many positive attributes need time to register on the palate. The appearance is slightly hazy, while aromas and flavors suggest subtle almond, apple skin and apricot, with a chewy texture. (JG)
The tangy pear, peach and apricot flavors have a side of toast and spice. Set on a juicy frame, with roasted almond accents on the finish. Roussanne, Marsanne, Vermentino and Chardonnay. Drink now. (MW)
Donkey and Goat is a small winery in Berkeley run by a couple who adhere to a "natural" wines philosophy, and seek out small lots from family growers, often little gems of vineyards in overlooked areas of California.