39% Grenache, 35% Mourvèdre, 17% Syrah, 7% Cinsaut, 2% Viognier
38% Rancho Solo, 20% Bien Nacido, 34% Del Barba, 7% Bechtold, 1% Popelouchum
10-15 years from release (August 2018)
2014 Le Cigare Volant
Very bright, deep ruby color, lots of black fruit, mulberries and cherries on the nose. There is a pronounced minty, almost alpine pepperiness, which is the unmistakable hallmark of Bien Nacido Syrah. In my mind at least, it is this septentrional (north of 45th parallel) character that so tellingly differentiates Cigare Volant from say, meridional Châteauneuf-du-Pape, giving it an unmistakable lift. I flatter myself, but apropos of “coolth,” this wine works a bit like Miles’ music - plenty of space between the notes, allowing the wine to expand and grow in the glass.
Grenache 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. The non-irrigated, centenarian Del Barba vineyard of Contra Costa continues to provide Mourvèdre for Cigare. A touch of the 120+ year old vines of the Becthold Vineyard Cinsaut provides a very particular fragrance of flowers and aromatic herbs.
One last (blue) note: While the phenomenon is undoubtedly multi-factoral, the wine is remarkably resistant to oxidation after it’s been opened, remaining fresh for the better of a week. This is profoundly good news for the long-term prospects of this wine and for those who still possess a capacious cellar.
Food Pairing Notes
Lamb dishes of all sorts, Moroccan tagine, braised beef short ribs (we recommend a braise in our Clos de Gilroy), roasted wild mushrooms.
Grapes, sulfur dioxide, and tartaric acid. In the winemaking process, the following were utilized: indigenous yeast, yeast nutrients, French oak chips, and copper sulfate.