Donelan’s answer to Chateauneuf du Pape is the 2009 Cuvee Moriah. Composed of 72% Grenache (with 16% stems), 20% Syrah (with 35% stems) and 8% Mourvedre, this wine reveals zesty acidity as well as an unmistakable kirsch liqueur style. It reminded me of a lighter vintage of Chateau Rayas, which is a lighter-styled Chateauneuf du Pape even in a powerful vintage. The light ruby-hued Cuvee Moriah offers up intense notes of sweet black cherries intertwined with herbal nuances. As the wine sits in the glass, tell-tale notes of raspberries (which I often associate with Rayas) also emerge. If tasted blind, this different, intriguing effort would undoubtedly be thought to be a French southern Rhone rather than a Sonoma County product. It should age effortlessly for 6-8 years. (RP)
A blend of 75% Grenache and 25% Syrah, that’s fermented with 60% whole cluster, the 2009 Donelan Cuvée Moriah is an energetic, firm wine that delivers a beautiful array of cherry and raspberry fruits, crushed flowers, wet stone, and touches of wild herb on the nose. Very perfumed and nuanced aromatically, the wine is medium bodied on the palate and sports a vibrant, energetic feel, carrying lively fruit on top of a firm, structured core, solid acidity, and a very long, clean finish. Needing air to really shine (I like this best on the second day), this will be better in 2-3 years, and drink well through 2021.
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