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2016 Vin Gris de Cigare Réserve
Wine Specs
50% Grenache, 15% Grenache Blanc, 12% Cinsaut, 12% Mourvèdre, 8% Carginane, 3% Roussanne
Central Coast
Vineyard Designation
25% Rancho Solo, 12% Del Barba, 9% Bokisch, 9% Sweetwater, 9% Beeswax, 8% Michael David, 7% Area 51, 6% Sunset, 6% Ventana, 5% Wente, 4% Scheid
5.9 g/L
Drinkable upon release (Apr. 2018), 7-10 years ageability
Serving Temperature
52-55° F
Label Artist
Chuck House
Alcohol %
The Tasting Panel

2016 Vin Gris de Cigare Réserve

A limited release, carboy-aged bottling of our Vin Gris de Cigare

There is enormous depth to this wine and it possesses something like an infinity pool finish. 

92 Points Vinous
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/ 750 ml

The encépagement of the ’16 Vin Gris de Cigare Réserve is slight different from the ’16 Normale—the most salient difference, again, being its élevage in 5 gallon glass demijohn sur lie, and of course, it is bottled without filtration. 

The ’16 Vin Gris is a bit of a departure from recent vintages, somewhat deeper in color and definitely a bit fruitier than some, though the fruit is perhaps (at least at this stage) more of the dark and brooding variety, particularly suggestive of black currants, Damson plum and rosehips. In our modern world, one must never, ever, ever, make anything like a health claim for an alcoholic beverage.1 So, no, I’m not saying that the Vin Gris has a calmative effect on jangled nerves, nor that it creates an immense feeling of well-being almost immediately upon just scenting it, even before the first sip. (Though it does smell an awful lot like any of the sundry tisanes (tilleul, eglantine) that will definitely do you some good.) Its perfume is subtle, haunting, not vulgar or tawdry, like some of the louche rosés de la nuit. Enfin, this wine is all about elegance and restraint. Rosehips, cassis, fraises de bois, citrus rind, with a wonderfully austere stony finish. Just begs for oysters or stone crab.

Wine Profile
Tasting Notes
On the nose, one gets cassis, pink grapefruit and the rather comforting fragrance of strawberry and rhubarb nose. Good acidity with a slight astringency (this is the so-called Dark Side/Anti-Sweetness and Light Aspect that I love so much in the ’16 vintage. There is enormous depth to the wine and it possesses something like an infinity pool finish. The wine certainly develops well in the glass with air and with time. Be very careful not to serve it too cold.
Vinous - 92 Points: "Vivid orange-pink. Vibrant, mineral-accented red berry and pit fruit scents, along with suggestions of jasmine, orange zest and succulent herbs. Smooth, seamless and energetic on the palate, offering concentrated raspberry, tangerine and peach flavors and a hint of fennel. Powerful yet graceful as well, showing impressive energy and cut on a very long, sappy finish that leaves behind juicy citrus fruit and smoky mineral notes. Drinking window: 2018 - 2022."—JR (July 2018)
Vineyard Notes
The cassis/grapefruit element most certainly derives from the Alta Loma Vineyard in the Arroyo Seco of Monterey County from grapes that were inadvertently (long story) subjected to fairly extended skin- contact time. But all’s well that ends well; this extra skin contact is responsible for the most unusual and remarkable fragrance of this wine.
Food Pairing Notes
This wine would be utter bliss with oysters, scallops and octopus. Veal saltimbocca (or chicken, if you’re adverse to that type of thing). Zuni Cafe roast chicken with bread salad. Thai Larb Gai (chicken with lime, chili and fresh herbs). Brie en croute with roasted wild mushrooms. Cioppino.
826 cases
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/ 750 ml