55% grenache, 25% syrah, 16% mourvèdre, 4% cinsaut
Drinkable upon release (April 2017), 10-15 years ageability
2013 Le Cigare Volant Réserve “en bonbonne"
A deep, bright color, with almost bluish hints yields some of the familiar (and comforting) typical aromas of Cigare: Damson plum, griotte cherry and licorice, but with a basso continuo beneath of maybe summer truffles and forest floor. What is most remarkable about the wine is its texture – extremely lush and velveteen.
The idea of “raising” the wine in glass demijohns was also a bit of a fever dream, occasioned in part by the many hours I spent in deep contemplation of the mysteries of redox chemistry; there was something dream-like (à la Carlos Castaneda and Don Juan) about the many hours driving around southern France with Patrick Ducournau, deep thinker about oxygen and wine (and inventor of microbullage, or micro-oxygenation). I’ve already written quite a bit about the nature of the esoteric élevage en bonbonne—bâtonage magnetique, etc., the opportunity for the wine to digest a substantial volume of yeast lees, and the extraordinary texture and savoriness this protocol engenders.
I took the liberty of tasting the wine over several days, and on the second day after opening, discovered a somewhat decadent, candied fruit element, which seemed to emerge out of nowhere. True to virtually all of the Réserve wines, this wine is perhaps more of a meditation wine than a vin de soif; it is an occasion to ponder what it means for a wine to go deep.
Food Pairing Notes
All manner of cute creatures: rabbit, tiny birds, etc. Rabbit in Mustard Sauce (We suggest our Cigare Blanc mustard for this dish). Beef Kidneys. Stilton. Braised Oxtail.