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.
"Syrah from the Obsidian vineyard was harvested about ten days before the fires struck in 2017, so this is the second-to-last vintage of this wine. Yields in 2016 were about one ton per acre. The 2016 Syrah Obsidian Vineyard is made from 100% Syrah aged in 40% new oak for 22 months. Deep ruby-purple in color, it features aromas of wild blackberries, violets, fried herbs, dried blueberries, bitter chocolate and granite—a dense, layered, singular nose. Medium to full-bodied, it has a silky texture and fills the mouth with layers of black and blue fruits with a strong mineral vein, framed by firm, dusty tannins and juicy acidity, finishing very long. There are lots of latent layers here. Give this time in bottle! 670 cases produced." 95 Points, Erin Brooks, The Wine Advocate, 2020-2035