2014 Nancie chardonnay exudes the depth and vibrancy that we have loved about this wine since we first began to produce it, six years ago. Nancie has evolved to include select vineyard blocks that demonstrateour favorite Sonoma County Chardonnay characteristics. The same vineyards have provided the core of the wine for several years now, and we have used this time to understand how each vineyard ripens and should be handled in the cellar. As winemakers, we are wedded to the notion that we are always students first and we will always continue to experiment with new sites each year, as we strive to produce increasingly excellent wines with each passing vintage.
Our hope for Nancie is that it highlight key characteristics that we love in Chardonnay: elegant with aromas of stone fruits, citrus zest and white flowers, accented with freshness and minerality that pairs with fullness and richness on the palate. The 2014 delivers exciting notes of fresh pear, mandarin orange, and ripe peach. On the palate, stone-fruit melds into wildflower honey and crème-brulée. Driven acidity harmonizes with fullness to keep clean, yet intense and thrilling.
This Chardonnay is made from a quartet of cool, Sonoma County vineyards. Two are perched on Sonoma Mountain and influenced by cool ocean breezes, rocky soils, and high elevation. The third is a Russian River Valley property bearing 30+ year old vines that grow a wine both rich and mineral in texture. The fourth and newest to the blend is a unique parcel nestled in a hillside in the cool Green Valley. Together, these properties showcase an enticing ensemble of slow-ripening vineyards in California sunshine.
2013 NancieTasting Notes
We are proud to introduce 2013 Nancie Chardonnay, a blend that has grown-up into complexity, patience and sophistication. 2013 may be the most concentrated and supple vintage of Nancie yet. Like a photographic lens, this vintage brings flavors, layers, richness, and mineral intensity into focus. With an engaging nose of raw vanilla bean, apple crisp and fresh pear and precise zest on the palate, 2013 Nancie is a noble Chardonnay.
2013 NanciePast Vintages
The 2012 vintage allowed for flavors to develop gradually, producing a wine of incredible depth, uncompromising energy, and a long finish.As our blend matures, so does our ability to produce a supple, layered Chardonnay. The wine, predominately fermented in neutral oak, finds balance with choice coopers that offer enticing spice that mirrors some of the cool-climate flavors and minerality that these vineyards produce. The nose offers immediate aromas of pear, wildflower honey, fresh linen, and lemon meringue pie. Consistent with 2010 and 2011, the mouth feel combines surprising freshness with ample richness, making the wine versatile to pair with food or enjoy on its own.
“My first experience with a Chardonnay from Donelan Family Wines is the 2012 Chardonnay Nancie. Made from 30+-year-old vines in cold sites, it was aged 10 months in French oak of which 23% was new, fermented with indigenous yeasts, and achieved relatively low alcohol for a California Chardonnay (13.3%). Aromas of lemon butter, white currants, quince and wet gravel emerge from this medium-bodied, refreshing Chardonnay. A California version of a premier cru Chablis should be enjoyed over the next 5-6 years.”
– Robert Parker
The Wine Advocate: 91pts
This Chardonnay is made from a trio of cool Sonoma County Vineyards. The wine is designed for pleasure, uniqueness, and food. The 2011 calls to mind both the 2009 and 2010, taking the best of both. Up front one is confronted with aromas of wet rock, lemon, mandarin, and ripe honey melon. The expectation of a rich palate is confirmed, but tethered with mineral character and plenty of energy on the long finish. The palate is even accented by hints of anise and sweet spices.
Wine Advocate: 92pts
We sought to produce a terroir driven Chardonnay wine with minerality and subtlety made simply in neutral French puncheons and barrique: designed for pleasure, uniqueness, and food. The 2010 retains the structure achieved in 2009, but with added elements of texture and richness in addition to an increase in fruit concentration such as lemon, mandarin, and lychee. The mineral character of the finish is accented by hints of anise that is carried along a nice lengthy finish. The cool, long 2010 vintage was excellent for Chardonnay, and this Nancie is no exception!
Wine Advocate: 92pts
We believe we’ve delivered with our inaugural Chardonnay which we’ve donned Cuvee Nancie; paying homage to Joe Donelan’s mother. Combined with the melon and citrus there is an underlying “stoniness” to the wine which we deem minerality. Additionally, there is a certain non-fruit aroma that is pleasant and mingling with citrus, like chamomile and mandarin mixed together. The beauty is in how all the flavors deliver on the palate, which is well balanced, focused, and fresh. This Chardonnay will continue to add weight with age and represents an elegant and pretty side of the varietal.