Come say hello, meet proprietors Joe and Cushing Donelan along with winemaker Tyler Thomas this Saturday in Los Angeles at Wally’s Wine. As part of Wally’s weekly Saturday tastings you’ll be able to taste our wonderful portfolio of Chardonnay, Roussanne, Pinot Noir, Grenache and Syrah wines. Enjoy multiple wines, get questions answered, and experience the passion of the Donelan family: “the best wines that you’ve never heard of”.
It is Spring! And there is no time better than now to begin drinking the Donelan Venus Roussanne in earnest. The 2010 was just released, please enjoy this description from our winemaker Tyler Thomas of how Venus is produced and click here to find out more.
Risotto is like winemaking. I love preparing dishes that provide flexibility and freedom within a standard framework. Cooking is not unlike winemaking, where principles are applied similarly to each variety and vintage. But within each vintage or variety, there is plenty of room for creativity and nuances based on the producer’s choices. Risotto is such a dish.
During winter, we love making dishes that are hearty, go well with red wine, and stick to your ribs. Risotto is such a dish and yet paradoxically seems lighter and less exhausting to the palate than something like Beef Bourgone (another favorite). With a big salad and good crunchy bread, risotto makes a wonderful mid-week dinner on its own (even if usually served as a primo). My favorite Donelan wine to enjoy with this dish is the 2009 Cuvee Moriah. Its bright red fruit, herbs-de-provence characters along with its supple, firm structure pair so comfortably with the lighter flavors but rich textures of the risotto.
Risotta confines you to the stove once you begin preparing it, which can make serving it for dinner parties more difficult. Since we always find our friends in our kitchen regardless of the dish, what difference does it make! Much of the chopping and prep can be done in advance, though once you start cooking you’ll be locked in.
The following recipe is adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Naked Chef and my Father’s methods Continue reading
The restauranteur Sondra Bernstein is the passion behind some of my (Tyler) favorite local haunts in Sonoma County. We are regulars at the Fig Cafe in Glen Ellen (I live right down the street), frequent The Girl and The Fig on the Sonoma Plaza and have enjoyed my experiences at ESTATE, also in Sonoma (you can explore all three with the link). One thing we love about The Girl and The Fig is their passion for Rhone-inspired wines. The entire wine list is comprised of varieties that originated in the bounty of the Rhone Valley in France.
Recently Sondra who seemingly has boundless amounts of energy to juggle all her activities found time to write about the Donelan 2009 Venus, a blend of Roussanne (90%) and Vigonier (10%) on her blog: Rhone Around the World, a Girl’s Obsession with Rhone Wine. The description of the wine is superb:
The 2009 Venus exhibits crisp, fresh, delicate but impressively intense notes of lychee nuts, caramelized citrus, spring flowers, fresh pears and honeysuckle. Medium-bodied with lively acidity as well as an exotic perfume and a dry, zesty style, I would recommend drinking it on the early side because of its exceptional aromatics. Great dry finish and a minerality on the back end.
Noted wine collector and wine writer Erol Senel has selected the 2009 Donelan Venus as his #9 wine of 2011. Senel writes that Donelan’s “line-up of Rhone varietals is, in my opinion, second-to-none in California and rivals the greatness of the royalty found in the Rhone itself!”
Thank you Erol for such kind words. In giving the Venus 94 points Senel notes “the ’09 Venus is no exception to the trend of amazing wines coming out of this winery.” Read the full review and give the wine a try by contacting us, it is nearly sold out!