35% Grenache, 34% Mourvèdre, 17% Cinsaut, 14% Syrah
35% Ventana, 34% Del Barba, 17% Bechtold, 8% Edna Ranch, 6% Lieff
Ideally hold 3 years from release (August 2018). Aging potential after that: 10-15 years.
2017 Le Cigare Volant
Grenache adds rich black fruit flavors and a discreet spiciness. Syrah from the cool climate vineyards near Santa Maria and Edna Valley bring rich black fruit with licorice and spice. The centenarian non irrigated Del Barba Vineyard of Contra Costa continues to provide Mourvèdre for Cigare. The 120+ year old vines of the Bechtold Vineyard Cinsaut provides a very particular fragrance of flowers and aromatic herbs.
Again, we were up to our old/new tricks in air-drying the Grenache and Mourvedre fruit so that we might use a substantial portion of un-destemmed clusters in the fermenter. The presence of stems in the wine is evinced in part by a sort of “gatheredness” of the wine, a core. While a young wine can exhibit perhaps a slight character of “stemminess,” if the stems are well matured, that aspect manifests more as a form of mintiness. This particular trick has given this wine the wonderful advantage of a robust skeletal framework, upon which the fruit/flesh is seamlessly embedded. (We conserve the “fruit” or succulence/sucrosity of the wine through minimal, gentle cellar movements, always rigorously anaerobic.). My colleague, Nicole Walsh and I toil away at the Cigare blend every year, and while the blend will change (sometimes radically) from year to year, we share an idea of the Platonic form of Cigare, and the ‘17 certainly embodies that form. It goes something like this: Juiciness, fruit (but not confected or overripe), brightness, exuberance, joy, and not least, a sense of savoriness. I realize I’m not speaking orthodox wine parlance. We look above all for balance and for liveliness, for vinous qi. This wine is still incredibly young and just wants to jump out of its shoes.
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.