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2009 Le Cigare Volant
Wine Specs
36% syrah, 25% grenache, 20% mourvèdre, 19% cinsault
Central Coast
Vineyard Designation
30% Ca' del Solo, 18% Bien Nacido, 14% Gonsalves, 12% Woock, 11% Alamo Creek, 8% Enea, 7% Alta Loma
luh see-gar vole-aunt
6.3 g/L
Drinkable upon release (Dec. 2013), 10-15 years ageability
Serving Temperature
55-65º F
Bottling Date
Label Artist
Chuck House
Alcohol %
Wine Enthusiast

2009 Le Cigare Volant

92 points Wine Enthusiast

A re-release of one of the most elegant and complex vintages of Cigare in recent memory.

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$54.00 per bottle / $583.20 per case
$45.90 per bottle / $518.40 per case (Members)

Really wild, explosive aroma, largely instigated by the Syrah, but non-trivially impacted, tempered and refined by the oh so elegant Cinsault, in no small measure. As anyone who has listened to my Geschrei over lo, these many years, I am, as you should know, just a frustrated Burgundian, fated, alas, to try to replicate Burgundy with essentially anything but Pinot noir. This Cigare is truly Burgundian, I say, not even raising a blush, (with perhaps a slightly California Rhodanian twist: Its flavors are: cherry, smoked meat, leather, fennel, aniseed, pepper, wild mushrooms, and the not to be overlooked sous-bois.

Wine Profile
92 - Wine Enthusiast | “There’s a bit more fruit—cherry, cranberry—and no dust to this Cigare compared to other Bonny Doon bottlings, but blacker aromas of asphalt and char persist. The blend of 36% Syrah, 25% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre and 19% Cinsault delivers strong tannins and flavors of a black-and-blue filet mignon topped with a wild berry reduction sauce." — M.K. (11/1/2014)
90 “Bright ruby-red. Raspberry, lavender and pungent herbs on the aromatic nose, with a peppery nuance adding lift. Chewy red berry and bitter cherry flavors show good depth and energy, with a hint of allspice coming up gradually. Finishes with gentle, fine-grained tannins, a repeating floral character and very good persistence." - Josh Raynolds, Aug 2015
Vineyard Notes
Grenache from our former Ca’ del Solo estate (a quarter of the blend) adds rich black fruit flavors and a discreet spiciness. Syrah is principally sourced from Bien Nacido vineyard in Santa Maria Valley, which produces the closest analogue we have found to a Northern Rhône Syrah—tannic and meaty in the lower registers; peppery, fruitful and delicately floral in the top, all the while showing great balance and harmony. A small amount of ultra-low-yielding hilltop Biodynamic® Syrah comes from the Chequera vineyard on the west side of Paso Robles. A select group of non-irrigated, centenarian Contra Costa vineyards continues to provide Mourvèdre for Cigare. A touch of Cinsault provides a very particular fragrance of flowers and aromatic herbs.
Production Notes
785 cases
Winemaker Notes
What I love most about Cigare Volant is not that it’s a vin de terroir. (It’s not, but that may come someday.) Certainly not its stylistic consistency—that seldom happens. Instead, when we are lucky, we are able to produce a wine that captures some of the unique qualities of the vintage and of our generally distinctive vineyards. Often one observes a sort of rhythmic teeter-totter between powerful and structured wines (viz. the ’07 and ’08) and gentle, elegant and fragrant wines, such as we find here with the ’09 vintage. How do we undertake this weighty blending decisions? The Grenache is always the key. If the Grenache is particularly expressive as it was in earlier vintages, it is our preference to let it take the lead, then fill in with the other bits. In ’09 the Grenache was shy and reticent, but the Syrah and Cinsault were ultra-extraverts. I love it when we end up with an elegant, juicy, Burgundian savory mouthful of deliciousness, as we just happened to do in 2009. The nose is all black fruit all the time: sloe, black olive, black cherry, violets, black raspberry and licorice (and a very sublime suggestion of wintergreen in the mix as well). The mouth is just soft and elegant; bright acidity, moderate alcohol and a finish that goes on and on. In my experience, this is the style of Cigare that will live for years and years.
Food Pairing Notes
Duck, lamb, venison.
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