Best California Chardonnay I’ve ever tasted: Donkey & Goat Untended 2010

When my buddies Yelenosky, Erickson, and I tasted this wine together last week at Jaynes Gastropub, the three of us were simply floored by how friggin’ delicious it is.

Donkey & Goat 2010 Untended Chardonnay, made from a 30-plus-year-old abandoned and “un-grafted” vineyard in Anderson Valley, California.

As you can see from the image, the wine — the product of spontaneous fermentation — is unfiltered. Beautiful, bright acidity, 12.7% alcohol (YES!), brilliant citrus notes, and a freshness and drinkability (as the Italians say) that made this wine disappear with extreme celerity.

But the thing I loved the most about this wine was how pure it is — ideologically and sensorially.

In a world where “California Chard” is a brand created through aggressive manipulation of the grape variety, this wine’s purity spoke to the true nature of Chardonnay as a relatively neutral medium for expressing the place where it is grown and the winemaker’s interpretation. In this case, the winemaker’s transparency — literal and figurative — allows the wine to express everything that has gone into it: just place and grapes. I can’t recommend it highly enough (especially for wine lovers and trade who are trying to wrap their mind around what Chardonnay really is).

Thank you Donkey & Goat for this wine and thank you Amy Atwood for turning me on to it. Love it…

The folks at Jaynes had flown me in for one night last week (my last plane ride of the year! yeah!) to lead a guided tasting of Italian wines for a corporate client. (I’ll post about an interesting experiment I conducted during the nearly 4-hour long tasting next week.)

Jayne shared her excellent mozzarella-stuffed arancini with me. And their newborn daughter Romy shared her contagious smile…

Tracie P and I are in the final weeks of our pregnancy and I’m very happily grounded, with no more travel scheduled until 2012.

We’re so lucky to have so many friends and relatives who have recently had kids: the hand-me-downs are great and more than anything else, it’s wonderfully reassuring to share the experience with our friends as we deal with the discomforts and the anxiety that the last weeks of pregnancy can bring.

I’m so proud of my beautiful Mamma P: she’s such a great mother to Baby P and she’s so courageous (in our birthing classes, they give us a taste of what’s in store).

It’s so true what people say: having a child will change your perspectives in ways that you cannot imagine until it happens to you. We’re living that every day.

And just when I thought I couldn’t love Tracie (Mamma) P anymore, I find that my love continues to grow as she bravely and so graciously carries our little girl.

I wish yall could see her… she’s just so beautiful…

8 thoughts on “Best California Chardonnay I’ve ever tasted: Donkey & Goat Untended 2010

  1. Pingback: Chicken & Dumplings, Cornbread, and News of Baby P « Do Bianchi

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