Donelan Cuvee Moriah Sonoma County 2010

Recommendation: Not Recommended.

Winery/Producer: Donelan Family Wines; Santa Rosa, California.

Grape Variety: Blend: 54% Grenache, 26% Mourvedre and 20% Syrah.

Geographic Region, Appellation: Bennette Valley and Sonoma County.

Vintage: 2010

Price: $41 (with a $7.00 discount)

Purchased From: The Caviste Wine Shop; Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Paired With: Beef, chicken, cheese and veggies fondue with a variety of sauces.


    He said: Opened 30-minutes before drinking. Clear ruby rd color. Light, slightly earthy fruit aromas. Intense, dry, ripe strawberry taste that stays right through the lingering slightly tart finish. It was disappointing…when we tasted this before buying it I think it was better than with the beef fondue. There was alcohol in the bouquet right to the last drop, it had an unpleasant bitterness from mid-palate through the finish and the taste was pretty much one dimensional. In addition, we did a side-by-side blind tasting with a bottle of Chateau Smith Cabernet and everyone at the table liked the Chateau Smith MUCH better without even knowing it was half the price.

    She said: OK I admit it…when you have fondue with lots of sauces it’s hard to make a perfect pairing. Given that, we blind tasted two distinctively different wines. One from Washington State and the Donelan Cuvee Moriah from California. We all agreed after a couple of tastes that the Washington State wine was better. Since the price and tasting difference was so different we than added a third wine for our guest to compare…a terrible box Merlot we use for cooking. Guess what? After only a couple of sips he said the “box wine” was clearly the worst of the three. In the end we all decided that the Chateau Smith Cabernet from Washington State was the best because of its good aroma, taste, full body, pleasant tannins and tasty finish. Those are characteristics I love in a red wine and the Donelan Cuvee Moriah simply didn’t have them.


Alcohol: 13.6%