Donelan, Native, Chardonnay, Sonoma County, 2020

Sale price£187.00


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.

A new, limited-edition white wine joins us just in time for Spring’s arrival. Meet the 2020 Native Chardonnay, fermented with only wild yeast and over-vintaged for 18 months. We almost exclusively employ native ferments for red wine and for white we use a bit of it. For this year, there were just some standout barrels with the whites. So Donelan thought it would be a fun exercise to barrel these native lots on their own.

This was a high-risk, high-reward wine to make. Native fermentation is a super tricky process that requires extreme attention to detail. They take longer and don’t always finish dry. You have to be patient, have a very sanitary cellar, and know tricks to coax the yeast and bacteria to finish fermentation. Before we bottled them, we sent out these wines to get plated, which is looking at the bacteria microscopically and growing the colonies to make sure they’re pristine.The idea behind over-vintaging the wine was to get more complex secondary aromas. You give up a little bit of primary aromatic complexity but gain depth and richness on the palate. The result is a delicious Chardonnay with far more complexity, density, and diversity of flavors and aromas. The 2020 Native is rich but respectful with red apple skin, orchard fruits, pie crust, and vibrant acidity. 

You may also like

Recently viewed