2016 Vin Gris de Cigare Réserve
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.