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Spirits of the Season 2013: A special red: Donelan Syrah Obsidian Vineyard of Knight's Valley

By April Neale Dec 9, 2013, 5:16 GMT

Spirits of the Season 2013: A special red: Donelan Syrah Obsidian Vineyard of Knight's Valley

Spirits of the Season 2013 will bring you the hottest new recipes, spirits and wines from the coolest distilleries, vineyards, restaurants and bars all across the globe!

California wines are considered some of the finest in the world, and the climate in Sonoma where Obsidian Vineyard is found in Knight's Valley makes one exceptional Syrah that you would do well to squirrel away and enjoy with the holiday feasts or a New Year's toast. It's exquisite and one of the best reds that we've ever encountered.

Donelan Obsidian Syrah Vineyard is a 30+ year old vineyard that grows on a steep perch rising above the Franz Valley floor in Knight’s Valley,

Obsidian is also known for their unique growing condition where free draining soil (i.e. almost pure rock) sets up the vines and the resultant wiine as one of mystery and complexity.

The vines struggle in these conditions to produce canes and leaves. The berries are tiny and, without dropping any fruit, yields are unbelievably low and flavor concentration is insane.


One to salt away and give as a gift this year is the 2010 Syrah, of Obsidian Vineyard and Donelan Family Wines. Named for the black, glassy volcanic rock which graces the vineyard’s terrascape, this wine will impress.

Obsidian Syrah pours a deep red and the jet black obsidian rock the vines call home make this dark and lush with tremendous intensity and tannin. This Syrah is often characterized by dark fruit, tobacco, and aromas that smell like the vineyards after a good rain.

Bonus pairing recipe courtesy of Cooking Channel:


Creamy Lobster Bisque

Total Time: 2 hr 10 min

| Cook: 1 hr 45 min

Yield: 6 servings



1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

6 cloves garlic, smashed

3 carrots, roughly chopped

2 ribs celery, roughly chopped

2 red onions, roughly chopped

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Freshly cracked pepper

1 ounce brandy

1 cup good white wine

6 cups organic vegetable stock

1/3 cup tomato paste

1/2 teaspoon fresh peppercorns

3 cooked lobster carcasses,

chopped 2 bay leaves

1 handful fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley sprigs

1 sprig fresh thyme


1 stick unsalted butter 1/2 cup all-purpose flour


1 cup heavy cream 1/2 teaspoon saffron


2 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 cooked lobsters, meat only

Directions 1 bunch fresh chives, for garnish

For the lobster broth: Heat a large soup pot on medium and add the butter, olive oil, garlic, carrots, celery and onions. Add the sea salt and some freshly cracked pepper and saute for about 8 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the brandy and burn off the alcohol. Pour in the white wine and reduce for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the vegetable stock, tomato paste, peppercorns, lobster carcasses (keep meat for later), bay leaves, parsley and thyme. Top of with water, just enough to cover the shells. Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, for 1 hour.

For the dark roux: Heat a small saucepan on medium. Add the butter and flour and whisk continuously until amber in color and nutty smelling, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat.

For the bisque: Using strainer and cheesecloth, strain the lobster broth into a medium pot. Add the dark roux, heavy cream and saffron and mix. Let reduce on medium-low heat until thick, another 15 to 20 minutes.

For the lobster meat: Heat a big pan on medium-high and melt the butter. Add the lobster meat and saute until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes.

Spoon the lobster meat into a big bowl, ladle on the lobster bisque and top with chives. Enjoy.


A dimensional and seductive wine, priced at around $90, the 2010 Obsidian will delight the palate with aromas of lilac, bacon and even chocolate. It pairs beautifully with the Lobster Bisque above.

Designed to enjoy with food, enhance your New Year’s celebrations by pairing the Obsidian with rich caviar, decadent lobster or crème brûlée.

Donelan’s Obsidian is available nationally via or by calling: 707-591-0782.


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