The 30th Anniversary release of this, our flagship wine. A beautiful wine—dark and mulberry in color as in nose. One scents cool loamy earth with suggestions of raspberries and Damson plums. I do so love the largely Grenache vintages of Cigare; there’s an unmistakable spiciness to them—orange peel, cinnamon and black pepper. Grenache is not just about fragrance however; any synesthete worth his/her Maldon salt will know that the scent of Grenache is in part highly textural—soft and velveteen. And sure enough, on the palate the wine is also an essence of velours.
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. A select group of non-irrigated, centenarian Contra Costa vineyards continues to provide Mourvèdre for Cigare. A touch of Cinsaut provides a very particular fragrance of flowers and aromatic herbs.
Food Pairing – Lamb dishes of all sorts, Moroccan tagine, roasted game birds, braised beef short ribs (we recommend a braise in our Clos de Gilroy), steak frites, roasted wild mushrooms.
Wine Enthusiast 93 Points
Wine Spectator 91 Points
About Bonny Doon
While Bonny Doon Vineyard began with the attempt to replicate Burgundy in California, Randall Grahm realized early on that he would have far more success creating more distinctive and original wines working with Rhône varieties in the Central Coast of California. The key learning here (achieved somewhat accidentally but fortuitously) was that in a warm, Mediterranean climate, it is usually blended wines that are most successful. In 1986 Bonny Doon Vineyard released the inaugural vintage (1984) of Le Cigare Volant, an homage to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and this continues as the winery’s flagship/starship brand.