Founded by Joe Donelan, who now runs the business alongside his sons Cushing and Tripp, Donelan is a small, boutique Sonoma winery producing Syrah, Grenache, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Roussanne and Viognier. Producing just 8,000 cases per year they prize quality over all other factors. They are becoming known for their exceptionally small-release bottlings of vinous experimentations: clonal varietals, site specific variations and the like. This factor has turned them from being a first-class winery into also being internationally recognised for leading this type of small-batch production.
"One of Joe Donelan’s favorite vineyards and wines is his 2012 Syrah Richards Family Vineyard. (The 2013 was tasted from barrel but is not yet in bottle.) This vineyard is located in Annadel State Park in Sonoma County. It is considered a warmer region, but this is an east-facing, isolated vineyard. The wine is 100% Syrah aged in 45% new French oak for a whopping 34 months prior to bottling. The extended aging seems to calm down this wine, which has incredible density of fruit, mostly blackberry, blueberry and cassis, a brooding smell of subtle barbecue smoke and charcoal, full-bodied opulence, and a terrific finish with great density. This is a stunner and one of the superstars of a great lineup of wines. Drink it over the next 15 years." 96+ Points Robert M Parker jr, The Wine Advocate, 2016-2031