Wednesday, December 17, 2008
A Donkey & Goat Winery
I noticed on a list of East Bay events happening this weekend that A Donkey & Goat Winery is holding an open house this weekend, and it reminded me about their wonderful wines I tasted a few weeks ago during a similar opening. Sadly, I didn't take detailed notes at the time, because I really didn't expect to be buying anything. I went simply because it was a small producer in Berkeley, and I like to try as much wine as possible.
The winery's name comes from something the husband and wife team behind the label observed in France while learning how to be winemakers - that some farmers pair a workhorse animal with a nonworking sidekick. In this case, the winemakers saw a hard working donkey being trailed by his buddy, a goat with little to do, so that's how they came up with the name (or so I was told during the tasting a few weeks ago).
They were tasting four wines when I visited, three Syrahs and a Châteauneuf-du-Pape blend (Syrah, Mourvèdre and Grenache). All were great, complex, layered wines that really blew me away. I ended up buying the CDP blend, called Three Thirteen for $35. I found it to be the most approachable of the wines, just a touch sweeter than some of their Syrahs. Not to say this is a sweet wine, because it's not. It's just that some of the other wines had more leather, spices, herbs and tannins that indicated to me they would benefit from a few years of aging, and my little wine rack in the living room isn't going to provide the most stable humidity and temperature control over the next couple of seasons.
The open house will be on Saturday, Dec. 20 from noon to 4pm at 2323 B Fourth Street, Berkeley, CA (details here). As a bonus, if you don't like the wines, you can always check out Wine.com's shop across the street. They have a pretty good selection and decent prices as well.
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