Donelan White Rhone Blend Bennett Valley Venus 2009
Wine: "A blend of 90% Roussanne and 10% Viognier, this wine is once again primarily from Dry Stack Vineyard in Bennett Valley. A cool vineyard that ripens the Roussanne very slowly, we harvested this fruit at a potential alcohol of 12%. We added Viognier from Kobler Family Vineyard to bring a "lift" to the aromatics along with a touch more depth to the mouth feel." "As with the 2008, the 2009 epitomizes prettiness. If you could drink delicacy, this would be a close approximation. This wine, with its aromas of beeswax, lily, and freesia, is complexly flavored but without the overbearing weight of a typical Roussanne. Dancing, delicate, and fresh, we hope this will be another wine that is irresistible to uncork." - Winery The 2009 Vintage: "We've always found it odd that while we desire complexity in wine as a measure of quality, we strive for consistency and uniformity in the vineyard to achieve this. This paradox aside, the year 2009 is proving that a consistently moderate year with low water availability combined with our vineyards, sensible harvest times, and deft winemaking can make wines of tremendous complexity and structure. We're not sure we can summarize the 2009 vintage any better than that, but we'll try." "We divide each vineyard based on physiological variation to isolate only the best-of-the-best for the final bottling. Working with each vineyard a second time, Tyler, our winemaker, greatly appreciated the understanding of what each site needs in terms of viticulture, and - perhaps more critically - harvest timing. While 2008 saw some of the earliest harvest dates in our short history, in 2009 we worked to dial up vineyard balance to ensure full, ripe flavors to a point that would require the least amount of cellar intervention. This proved critical come October, when an early-ish rain approached. With nearly all our fruit in, we were able to comfortably pull the rest of the fruit thanks to the earlier arrival of ripe characters." "The moderate 2009 season promoted freshness and structure, placing the fulcrum of the mouth feel in the support of acidity. This season, more so than many recent vintages, allowed us to preserve tension without sacrificing substance. Tension is the wire from which all in wine is hung; tension without substance is tart, light, and wanting; substance with no tension can be obtrusive, if pleasurably broad. But tension with substance is structured, supple (even plush), and produces a more enticing wine than any other combination." "The 2009 aromas have wonderful depth and complexity, combining dark fruits with savory and sweet spices,. We feel they are representative of what our Sonoma terroir is capable of. Generally speaking, the wines are some of the most restrained we’ve produced without compromising the layers often achieved in our unique vineyards. While still young, we are confident in saying that this has been a terrific vintage and one that will reward patience. The wines provide a wonderful combination of depth, finesse, elegance, and elegant persistence. They are likely to add a pleasant fleshiness as they continue to develop. This vintage reveals the true potential of our sites: offering characters distinct to Rhone varietals without sacrificing the pleasant richness required to be considered among the best wines. Uniquely flavored, well structured, fleshy, and pleasant...drink up!" - Winery This wine was also scored 87 Points by the Wine Enthusiast.
Leave the pretense at the door. Small warehouse winery intermingled with a few other brands, a custom crush facility and a wine storage business. Just putting out stellar wines year after year starting out as PAX and now evolving with a new winemaker into Donelan Family wines. Very personable staff and a hands on owner in Joe Donelan who spends much of his time calling customers on the phone to thank them for drinking his wines.
Editorial Reviews for Donelan White Rhone Blend Bennett Valley Venus
Lovely and fragrant on the nose with smoky, almost flinty notes early on, joined by funky, sweet vegetal tones, some honeycomb, raw almonds and cider apple notes. Small on entry, this is pretty well focused with a tight core of honeyed, raw nut, cashew like flavors wrapped in a gauzy, soft lime cream. Not intense but very detailed on the palate. The finish is a bit more expressive, bright with mineral cut and long with a dry spice, honeycomb like quality. This has lovely tension. Time might be very kind here, as would be the right food. 89pts
Sweet and creamy without the oak or vanilla. It's actually amazing how much this captures the actual essence of Cali Chardonnay without having the two main traits.
Hints of plastic on the nose here, slightly band-aid like...on further sips, deep yellow peaches emerge and the finish is soft and smooth!
Very toasty on the nose, ripe stone fruits, a bit buttery with a slight toasted marshmallow finish. Rich and viscous style, but it works.
Buttery nose, toasty and smooth
Real nice grapefruit and other pale fruit flavors. Started out very cold and flavor developed from sharp and tangy to full and creamy as the temp warmed up. Fabulous bottle of Roussanne. Very well balanced. Paired perfectly with Shrimp Scampi Orzo.