Donelan Family Wines, boutique producers of award-winning California wines, today announces its fall release, including the 2012 Venus, a Rhone-style white blend of Roussanne and Viognier, and the 2011 Cuvée Christine, an elegant Syrah blend, the first release under the direction of newly-appointed head winemaker, Joe Nielsen.

“The 2012 growing season was on our side with a bountiful crop and steady conditions allowing us to harvest our fruit at ideal flavor potentials,” says Nielsen. “The result is exceptional wines that really express what each varietal — and our winery — can achieve.”

Committed to balance and showcasing the individuality of Sonoma County terroir, the Donelan team chose to exhibit restraint by using only what was necessary from the abundant 2012 growing season to fully express each terroir truthfully. Following are profiles and tasting notes of Donelan Family Wines’ fall releases:

2012 Venus — A Rhone-style white blend comprised of Roussanne and a hint of Viognier, the 2012 Venus highlights the full flavors that Roussanne is capable of, even after a mere 10 months in barrel. Due to the favorable growing conditions in Bennett Valley, the Venus jumps out of the glass with notes of lemon zest, meringue pie, and some classic savory components of white pepper and fennel. The small splash of Viognier rounds out the nose and mouth with hints of orange blossom, ripe summer melon and kiwi fruit. The wine delivers beauty and elegance on the palate with intriguing structure.

2011 Cuvée Christine — The 2011 Cuvée Christine is the perfect representation of Sonoma County Syrah, encompassing the vast spectrum of flavors indicative to the region. Made of 100 percent Syrah from four vineyard sites, fermented with 35 percent whole cluster, and aged in 70 percent neutral oak, the 2011 Christine is the most elegant vintage to date. The 2011 offers notes of simmering cranberry sauce, blackberry-stained hands, and pot-de-crème. The mouthfeel is centered around the mid-palate, which provides stability from the beginning through to the finish, with flavors of charred steak and espresso beans.


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