Introducing the 2021 Spring Release
Our 2021 Spring Release has officially opened. The release of new vintages has been such comforting work for our family – to see that exciting date on the calendar, and to taste, choose, and write about these wines. We’re fortunate to begin the year planning such a special moment to share with all of you. Releasing these wines in tandem with such a rejuvenating season makes us excited for the beautiful, hopeful months to come. Spring is Earth’s hand guiding us to be still, find what nourishes us, and then grow. As people, we nourish each other. We make one another whole. And we hope these six wines will inspire you with visions of a new kind of gathering. Gatherings that may be small, messy, peaceful, at the table, loud, take-out, or home-cooked, but are by all means nourishing. Gatherings that inspire you to reinvent the meaning of “celebration” and to get reacquainted with daily happiness. We hope you’ll celebrate this season of life with us and welcome our Spring Release wines into your home.
2019 Kobler Viognier
This wine is one that really stands out. It’s the wine that makes this release especially significant and personal because the 2019 Kobler Viognier is Winemaker David Milner’s first grape-to-glass Donelan wine. Making a great Viognier is rewarding.
It’s a difficult grape to grow because it can ripen at warp speed and leave you with an unbalanced, blousy white wine,” says David, who happens to be an aficionado of aromatic whites.
But this wine reflects the relaxed, easygoing growing season of 2019. It tastes like the most picturesque, buzzing, late-spring meadow you can imagine — bright but balanced with juicy honeysuckle, aromatic wild herbs, and fresh acidity.
2017 Nancie Chardonnay
The 2017 Nancie is a faithful white wine and a stellar Chardonnay. Truthfully, it’s so good because we don’t do much to it. And we don’t do much to it, because we don’t have to. We pick the fruit from a few special sites around Sonoma County, but then we let the grapes run the show. Chai spice, orange blossoms, red apple skins, and pleasant acidity strengthen this wine’s food-friendliness, especially alongside rich seafood like seared scallops, classic raw oysters, or baked lobster macaroni and cheese. The 2017 Nancie is invigorating, and it’s definitely a wine you’ll go back to all summer long.
2017 Tripp’s Block Pinot Noir
The 2017 Tripp’s Block Pinot Noir is a treasure raised among Mendocino County’s ancient redwood forests. This Pinot is one-of-a-kind, which is also how the 2017 vintage felt. We were constantly facing some sort of new extreme on all ends of the weather spectrum — intense heat waves, incessant rain all winter, and remarkable flooding. The Tripp’s Block is a gorgeous, lively wine structured with intoxicating spiciness and a nose reminiscent of a Manhattan.
To me, it’s a little bit of a hybrid of the 2014 and 2016. It’s got great acidity as well as some nice red fruit and fantastic complexity. The high elevation fruit really takes off in this wine. I’m getting thirsty just thinking about it.” — Tripp
2017 Cardiac Hill Syrah
We see a reflection of that same unruly 2017 growing season in our 2017 Cardiac Hill Syrah. After the Russian River flooded and we had to harvest faster than the heat could take, this Syrah aged into a full-bodied, rich wine with great longevity. The flavors from these small berries are fantastically classic. Freshly cut wildflowers, deep leathery tannins, and spices will make you want to drop everything and cook up a medium-rare steak with potatoes, and rosemary roasted butternut squash with red onion.
2015 Two Brothers Pinot Noir
The other Pinot Noir in this lineup is our 2015 Two Brothers. The Two Brothers is named after Tripp and Cushing, and if you know the boys, you know this dynamic, crowd-pleaser of a wine is fitting for them. But this vintage brings Two Brothers to a whole new level. We’ve been making this Pinot for seven years now, and the 2015 is the most intense yet. The growing season was another difficult one where time just wasn’t doing us any favors with little to no precipitation during winter, inclement weather during bloom leading to shatter, and an unseasonably warm summer made for an early harvest. We had to do some diligent sorting of the fruit in the vineyard and on the crush pad, but it paid off in the barrel with a phenomenal, ripe Two Brothers. It presents like a rich, baked fruit compote layered with dark berries, plum, and black cherry. A touch of earthiness keeps the stone fruit flavors grounded and natural.
It’s the Yin & Yang that we look for in the Dos Bros and in the 2015 we’ve achieved that mystical state of balance.” — Cushing
2014 Richards Family Syrah
The second Syrah we chose for our Spring Release is up there with the greatest we’ve ever made. It’s Joe’s favorite, particularly with a rack of lamb, and it’s a wine he’s really passionate about. It’s a wine that reminds him of why he got into wine in the first place. The 2014 Richards Family Syrah is a bottle of luxury and mystery. Delicate and rich foie gras, black currant, truffle, and juicy grilled lamb will only get better in the decades to come. You’ll want the complete 2014 Richards experience, so when you open this wine, have multiple paired courses waiting for it.
Our Spring Release wines could not be more diverse, but they do speak to one another. They’ve each held onto the spirit of their terroir or the essence of the wild growing seasons that raised them. This release is a celebration of Donelan Family Wines and the hope and growth embodied in Spring. We can’t wait for you to open these wines on all of the special picnics, bonfires, movie nights, lake days, and family gatherings to come in 2021 and beyond.
We love to see how all of you make memories with our wines, so tag us if you share any photos on social media. We’re also planning some virtual hangouts in the near future, so make sure you’re on our mailing list to get the news and invitations.