41% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, 15% Syrah, 14% Cinsaut
33% Rancho Solo, 30% Del Barba Rose, 14% Bechtold, 10% Lieff, 10% Shokrian, 3% Wolff
Ideally hold at least 6 months to 1 year from release (August 2018). Aging potential after that: 10-15 years.
2016 Le Cigare Volant
This wine was definitely not open for business upon first opening, so I’m taking another sniff and taste twenty-four hours later. (This is certainly one of the potential (minor) shortcomings of screwcaps, but the minor contretemps of a “closed” wine is more than made up by the screwcap’s enhancement of a wine’s ultimate longevity.) What a difference a day makes! (Needless to say, I strongly recommend decanting several hours before service, and can promise you that this will be a Cigare for decades of maturation.) The wine has darkened in color, immensely deepened in body, and the nose is just climbing out of the glass. Dark woodsy, fairy-tale nose - juniper berry and crushed pink peppercorns, licorice. It was in this vintage where we began using a substantially higher percentage of un-destemmed grapes (primarily Mourvèdre and Grenache) and as a result, as I conceive it, there is more gras or substance to the wine, and presence of a sort of dark, lower register, a basso continuo, if you will.
Grenache adds rich black fruit flavors and a discreet spiciness. Syrah sourced from a select group of very cool climate vineyards near Santa Maria and Los Alamo brings a beautiful balance of rich black fruit, licorice and meatiness. The non-irrigated, centenarian Del Barba Vineyard of Contra Costa continues to provide Mourvèdre for Cigare. The 120+ year old vines from the Becthold Vineyard Cinsaut provides a very particular fragrance of flowers and aromatic herbs.
These were grapes that were air-dried for several days with the intention of lignifying the stems, not so much with the idea of dehydrating the fruit. But the (ripe) stems impart a beautiful source of tannin, giving the wine a real spine; they protect it from the cold and unforgiving world it will ultimately have to confront.
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: Yeast, yeast nutrients, French oak chips, and French oak barrels.