2018 Donkey & Goat Twinkle Mourvèdre
Region: El Dorado < California
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming, decomposed granite with red clay loam soil, minimal added SO2, unfined/unfiltered, 11.4% ABV
Winemaker: Tracey & Jared Brandt
There are a handful of new California cool-kid producers who have changed the paradigm of conventional winemaking, marching to the beat of their own drummer. Jared and Tracey Brandt arguably invented this category, having been making natural, balanced and transparent wine out of the Berkeley cellar since 2004, before it was a thing. We love that they include an ingredient list on their labels, one that is remarkably short: grapes and minimal added Sulphur—and it’s clear. There is no masking the natural, pure flavor of this juicy wine, which is the very definition of a chillable red. It smells like raspberries crushed in a mortar and pestle with tart pomegranate seeds, and tastes like red cherry/ cinnamon spice sour patch kids. From a rocky, high elevation site in the Sierra Foothills, this truly is rock juice. Perfect with summertime BBQ fare, and even delicious with grill-roasted cauliflower steaks for us veg-heads. Serve slightly chilled.