2015 Donkey & Goat "Linda Vista Vineyard" Napa Valley Chardonnay

SKU #1275635 93 points Vinous

 Bright, vaguely hazy yellow. High-pitched Meyer lemon and pear aromas show suave jasmine and zesty mineral nuances. Silky and precise on the palate, offering bitter citrus pith, pear skin and honeysuckle flavors that deepen and expand with air. Shows a hint of iodine on the penetrating finish, which lingers with excellent, mineral-driven tenacity. 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)  (8/2016)

93 points Wine Enthusiast

 From a fine site farmed by Steve Matthiasson, this crisp, delightfully compelling white is tart and tangy in orange and lime. Tight and youthful, it shows complexity and concentration while a steely elegance weighs in, ultimately allowing the wine to show an elegance of site and style.  (10/2016)

K&L Notes

Native yeasts, neutral barrels, no additives, and hands-on, small fermentations—that's the Donkey & Goat way, at this boutique urban outfit located in Berkeley, right across the Bay from K&L San Francisco. From the winery: "Grown in alluvial soils from the nearby Dry Creek in the West Oak Knoll area which is one of the more prestigious and classic spots for Chardonnay. The Linda Vista Vineyard is planted in alluvial soils from the nearby Dry Creek in the West Oak Knoll area which is one of the more prestigious and classic spots for Chardonnay. The vineyard that won the famous Paris tasting in 1976 is just behind Linda Vista. There is a beautiful tension in this wine resulting from the interaction of the cooling influence of the Bay and the generous Napa Valley sunshine."

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Price: $31.99
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Staff Image By: Jacques Moreira | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/25/2016 | Send Email
An inviting nose of marron glacé and orange. On the palate this is absolutely crisp and quite refreshing with its elegant, dry finish. Well done!

Additional Information:



- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.

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.


- 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.
Specific Appellation:

Anderson Valley/Mendocino

- Cooled by the nearby ocean and the seemingly omnipresent bank of oceanic fog, this picturesque wine region is home to a wealth of cool-climate grapes like riesling and gewürztraminer plus chardonnay and pinor noir, which are responsible for impressive and intense sparkling wines.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.5