- SAVE THE DATE
Spring Release Open House
Saturday, February 23, 2008, from 1-5pm at the winery
Sample the newly released wines and enjoy a few new and old surprises. Plus, we are co-hosting
with our good friends at Broc Cellars who will also be pouring newly released wines. There will
be live music and hor d'oeurves. Admission is $20 (cash only at the event) and inlcudes a souvenir wine glass. Save $5 on your admission.
April 2007, Oakland Magazine,
Going Natural by Laurie Daniel
Berkeley Winery Tries Eco-Friendly Approach
"For Jared and Tracey Brandt, owners and winemakers of A Donkey and Goat winery in Berkeley,
green practices begin in the vineyard. The couple got much of their winemaking training by
working for Eric Texier, a vintner in France’s Rhône Valley who works with grape growers
committed to low yields and natural farming methods. So when the Brandts got started—their
first commercial harvest was 2004—they followed Texier’s example."
March 15, 2007,
Appellation America Wine Recommendation,
by Laurie Daniel
2005 Brosseau Vineyard Chardonnay, Chalone
"Jared and Tracey Brandt of A Donkey and Goat winery in Berkeley have a very European sensibility
when it comes to wine. For one thing, they are very particular about the acidity in their wines.
That’s led to an unusual method for making this Chardonnay from the Chalone AVA.
They love the minerality they get from the Brosseau Vineyard, but they found that the acid
levels in the grapes would drop before the flavors were mature. Rather than just add acidity in
the winery, they devised an ingenious process: Right after veraison, long before the grapes are
ripe, they harvest 2 to 3 percent of the crop. They press the grapes – which is difficult, because
the grapes at the level of development are on the hard side – then refrigerate the very tart
juice (which is like verjus used in cooking) until the rest of the crop can be harvested. The
tart juice is blended in before fermentation. The resulting wine, which sells for $40, is lean,
racy and Chablis-like, with lemon and mineral flavors. It’s still very tight and would benefit
from more time in the bottle."
January/February 2007, Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
2005 Chardonnay Brosseau Vineyard, Chalone: Peach Skin Color. Pear, melon, lemon ice tea, incence
and a leesy nuance on the nose. Juicy on entry, then nicely concentrated and rich in extract,
although the wine’s saline character and edge of lemony acidity are not currently in harmony.
Finishes quite dry, with an impression of solidity. 88
December 26, 2006, Robert M. Parker Jr.'s The Wine Advocate
2005 Chardonnay Brosseau Vineyard, Chalone, 88
2005 Syrah Broken Leg Vineyard, Anderson Valley, 89
2005 Three Thirteen, California, 87
These interesting as well as creatively packaged wines are all very good. The 2005 Brosseau Chardonnay is surprising light for a wine from this vineyard. Made in a
Chablis-like style, it offers notes of orange blossoms, citrus, and lemon with the oak
clearly pushed to the background. Enjoy this attractive Chardonnay over the next several years. An hommage to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, the 2005 Three Thirteen is a blend of Syrah, Mourvèdre and Grenache. The name reflects the three varietals this estate uses as opposed to the thirteen grapes permitted in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. A Rhône Valley-like bouquet of strawberries, cherries, peppers, herbs, lavender and spice emerge from this straight forward red. Consume it over the next 2-3 years. The best in this group appears to be the 2005 Syrah Broken Leg Vineyard.
From a cool Anderson Valley site, it exhibits plenty of blueberry, raspberry, sweet cherry,
floral, and spice characteristics. Pure, medium-bodied, elegant and authoritatively flavored,
it will drink well for 5-6 years.
November 10 , 2006, San Francisco Chronicle,
East Bay rising, by W. Blake Gray
"Forget bucolic hills with neat rows of grapevines and breezy summer days far from traffic.
To make wine, you need to buy grapes from Wine Country, but you don't have to live there.
There's a bustling urban wine scene developing in the East Bay, with wineries nestled into
warehouses beside factories and tasting rooms accessible by BART and commuter ferry."
September 29 , 2006, The Wall Street Journal,
TASTINGS by Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher
American Syrah Makes A Name for Itself
A Donkey and Goat 'Vidmar Vineyard' 2004 (Yorkville Highlands): Blackberries, pepper and earth.
Great fruit. Nicely balanced, with a medium weight. More drinkable, less intense than some.
September 25, 2006, Grape Radio,
"Grape Radio sits in with Michael Brill (CrushPad), Tracey Brandt (A Donkey and Goat), Sasha Verhage (Eno), and Andrew Vingiello (AP Vin), four urban winemakers from the Bay Area, to discuss how they got started, and the advantages and disadvantages of making their wines in the big city."
February 17, 2006, The Wall Street Journal,
TASTINGS by Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher
Taking Sides in the Butter Battle
"Tracey Brandt was literally speechless for sevearl seconds before explaining that she and her husband-partner don't like buttery Chardnonnays and didn't make one. Chablis is my inspiration …"
January/February 2006, Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
A Donkey and Goat 2004 Syrah Vidmar Vineyard Yorkville Highlands($32): Full red-ruby.
Nose shows sassafras, earth, sweet oak and an almost confectionary cherry element. Sweet, spicy and
very New World in style, with flavors of cherry, raspberry and cola. The impression of sweetness
lasts through the richly oaky finish but is supported throughout by freshness. Only a building
element of oaky torrefaction kept this wine below 90 points. 89. 2004 Syrah
Carson Ridge El Dorado ($32): Reticent aromas of marachino cherry, incense and herbs.
A sappy, concentrated fruit bomb on the palate, with intriguing nuances of juniper and wild
herbs adding interest to the intense cherry flavor. Not at all overly sweet. Finishes with
dusty wood tannins and very good length. 89. 2004 Syrah Vieilles
Vignes McDowell Valley
($34): Bright ruby-red. Musky aromas of meat, cedar and espresso. Supple and lush, with
varietally typical dark berry flavors. This comes across a bit less complex and delineated than the
Vidmar or Carson Ridge bottlings but it's the biggest and most pliant of these three 2004 syrah
release. Finishes with a flavor of jammy blackberry. 88
December 26, 2005, Robert M. Parker Jr.'s The Wine Advocate
A Donkey and Goat 2004 Syrah Carson Ridge El Dorado 89
A Donkey and Goat 2004 Vidmar Vineyard Yorkville Highlands 90
A Donkey and Goat 2004 Syrah Vieilles Vignes McDowell Valley 88
These three excellent, heady 2004 Syrahs are made in an up-front juicy, immediate gratifying style.
The 2004 Syrah Carson Ridge shows excellent gamey, blackberry fruit notes intermixes with pepper
and soil undertones. It is medium-bodied, supple,and best drunk over the next 3-4 years. Slightly
deeper and fuller-bodied, with more definition as well as abundant fruit is the 2004 Syrah
Vidmar Vineyard. It offers plenty of blackberry and peppery notes, sweet oak, and loads of fruits.
Enjoy it over the next 5-7 years. With more blueberry characteristics in its cooler-climate
personality, the 2004 Syrah Vieilles Vignes reveals a deep runy/purple color, medium body,
elegant blue and red fruits, and a clean, well-defined finish. It should drink well for 3-4 years.
December 2005, California Wine
and Food Magazine,
Rhone Varietal Harvest Bears Fruit
"While some of those lower yields can be attributed to shatter, Tracey Brandt from A Donkey
and Goat Winery said that their Mendocino County Syrah was off by 50% this year, not just
because of weather, but because a bear ate over a half ton of the fruit…”"
June 17, 2005, KQED's Food Blog, Bay Area Bites,
Donkeys and Goats
"Keep your eyes out for this young winery;
Tracey and Jared are not only knowledgeable and passionate about what they are doing, but
they are already producing some fantastic wines."
June 16, 2005, Alameda Sun
Mexican Food with Wine? Fine. By Gil Michaels
"The plato: Juanita’s Combination No. H: A
chicken flauta and a chile verde burrito. The wine: A Donkey and Goat Grenache-Gris
Rosé 2004, McDowell Valley.
Stunning shades of strawberry, medium-bodied, medium-dry. Cherry, berry and toast aromas
frolic in the glass like the Munchkins from the Lollipop Guild. Flavors of getting a passionate
lip-lock from a giant love-struck strawberry. Oy, mamacita! Drink more rosé!"
April 13,2005, Piedmont Post
Syrah - the next big thing
"This small Berkeley based
winery buys grapes from around the state and lovingly vinifies them into exquisite French styled Syrahs.
This wine has the elegance, finesse and perfumed nose of a good Côte Rôtie for half the price."
July 21, 2004, Oakland Tribune
Winemaking for the Common Throng, by Stett Holbrook
"Now, Brandt and her husband Jared, are prepared to give up the comfort of a double income for the uncertain world of winemaking. Who needs good clothes anymore? Lets just make wine."