Red Wines of the Earth
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April 2017 DEWN Wine Club Release
This is now our sixth iteration of Le Cigare Volant Réserve, and we continue to explore the great potentiality of the powerful technique of élevage in glass carboy.
92 Points Wine Enthusiast
Anaerobically cellared, affiné or “perfected” in 20 liter glass demijohns on its lees, this wine represents the peak of elegance in the eclectic Bonny Doon Vineyard range.
#2, 50 Best Wines of 2016, VinePair - "Randall Grahm is a winemaker who continues to impress. His move to close all of his wines with screwcap might be seen by some people as cheapening the wines, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. This is a serious, age-worthy red wine that showcases why Randall is one of this country’s best winemakers. A Rhone-style red blend, the wine is deep and dark with the Syrah playing the dominant role. Flavors of dark berries marry with leather to create a delicious wine."
The fourth vintage in our ongoing experimental protocol with anaerobic élevage of Cigare in 5-gallon glass bottles.
93 points, Wine Enthusiast
92 POINTS, Wine Enthusiast: “Fresh-flowing blood, dried Italian herbs and cured cuts of meat greet the nose on this annual Bonny Doon treat, a blend of 28% Syrah, 22% Grenache, 17% Cinsault, 17% Mourvèdre and 16% Carignane. The flavors are dominated by purple fruits, trending toward blackberry and blueberry, with violet florals and rustic dust."
92 POINTS, Vinous
We have been working with the Bien Nacido Vineyard for effectively twenty-five years – it has always been an important backbone of the Cigare – and with this vintage, I’m sorry to report, will be the final varietal Syrah that we are producing from this outstanding vineyard. Bittersweet this parting is, as the 2014 X-Block may be well be the very finest rendering of Syrah we’ve achieved since perhaps the original Bonny Doon Estate (in Bonny Doon).
February 2017 DEWN Release
We love the Syrah fruit that comes from the X-Block. We have a lot of history with this block.
91 Points Wine Enthusiast
At the risk of sounding redoondant, this is one of the greatest Bien Nacido Syrahs in memory.
“Randall Grahm notes that this is one of his best Syrahs from this historic vineyard, and it's hard to disagree. Aromas of gravel, just-crushed peppercorns, and blueberries lead into a lighter, airy, mineral-driven palate of black rocks, black pepper and boysenberry fruit. It's one of the better cool-climate Syrah around right now." Editor's Choice. -MK, December 2015
“A classic Bien Nacido Syrah with its smoky dark fruit, mineral and pepper-driven bouquet, the 2009 Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard X Block (100% Syrah aged 20 months in French oak puncheons) is medium to full-bodied, beautifully fruited and has a focused, pure feel on the palate. Outstanding juice, it should drink nicely through 2019. Drink now-2019.” -Jeb Dunnuck, August 2013
92 Points, James Suckling
If the ’12 Pousseur bore an uncanny resemblance to Crozes-Hermitage, our ’13 Syrah definitely shades slightly in the direction of a St. Joseph.
90 Points, Wine Spectator, "Precise and well-built, with an intriguing hint of gaminess, offering dried cherry, cured meat and licorice flavors. Drink now through 2024."—T.F.
For a long time I went to bed aïoli, clovèd in nothing but the barest essential oils. The Wine Formerly Known as Clos de Gilroy (TWFKaCdG) pays homage to the quaint, rustic town of Gilroy, the spiritual locus of all matters alliaceous. However, note well, the fruit for this wine does not, despite its name, derive from Gilroy, but instead primarily from the vivaciously scented Alta Loma vineyard in the Arroyo Seco region of Monterey County, accompanied by equally expressive Grenache from Rancho Solo, located just outside the wind-swept, tumble-weeded town of Soledad. (Il faut souffrir.)
You may well be looking at me sideways for saying it, but I will be drinking some $%&*#! Merlot.
Ah, the route de vin not taken… Composing a Cigare blend (an annual occurrence) is a bit like solving a puzzle, but in fact there are an infinite number of potential solution sets. We don’t really aim for stylistic consistency in Cigare, but rather to produce the absolutely most complex, seductive, compelling wine we can. As a result, there are often some extremely interesting bits that just don’t get included.
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91 Points, Wine Enthusiast ~ 40% Merlot, 24% Petit Verdot, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc, 4% Malbec
90 Points, James Suckling ~ 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Petit Verdot, 22% Tannat, 9% Syrah, 7% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petite Sirah
Peppery and lively with good acidity around an earthy, savory core.
A double-sized bottle (1.5L) of our superb 2011 Le Cigare Volant.
93 points, Wine Enthusiast
A beautiful wine-dark, mulberry color, and a first nose of dark, cool loamy earth with suggestions of raspberries, Damson plums and cherry/chocolate. On the palate, it is sleek and racy with a lively acidity, very soft tannins and great persistence.
This is a wine from an extremely cool and elegant vintage, and by all experience, should be a great prospect for development.