Bonny Doon Le Cigare Volant 2008
Rhone Red Blends from Central Coast, California
Cool earth is the first thing you smell when you open a bottle of the '08 Cigare Volant, followed by the comforting fragrance of peppermint and raspberry. Tasting the wine, one is struck by its bright acidity and black fruit – mulberry, cassis and black raspberry – coupled with a discreet earthiness (telegraphed, as it were, in the nose). The tannins are gentle, but the wine still possesses a strong upright spine; every element stands in very exquisite balance.
Utterly delicious and approachable now – especially brilliant with game, lamb and roasted meats – the wine will undoubtedly repay bottle ageing for many (10-15) years hence.
Blend: 45% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 13% Mourvèdre, 7% Cinsault, 5% Carignane
Wine Spectator - "Sleek and engaging, with ripe, supple, polished cherry, currant and dried berry flavors that glide across the palate, ending with gravel and spice box. Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault and Carignane. Drink now through 2021."
Bonny Doon Vineyard Winery
Bonny Doon Vineyard is situated in the Santa Cruz Mountains in the tiny hamlet of Bonny Doon. The winery was founded in 1983 by the Grahm family. Randall Grahm, Winemaker and President-for-Life of Bonny Doon Vineyard, was born in Los Angeles in 1953 and attended Uncle Charlie's Summer Camp, excuse me, the prestigious University of California at Santa Cruz, where he was a permanent Liberal Arts major. A complete and insufferable wine fanatic, he returned to the University of California at Davis to complete a degree in viticulture in 1979. Grahm is known as the "Rhone Ranger" for his pioneering work in the popularization of Rhone and Provencal varieties in California. Bonny Doon produces an array of such favorites as: Vin Gris de Cigare (thinking person's pink wine), Le Sophiste (Roussanne/Marsanne melange), Clos de Gilroy (young, fruity Grenache), Le Cigare Volant (Cryptoneuf-du-Pape), Garnacha (the strong Pink Wine), and a dramatically intense Muscat "Vin de Glaciere" (wine of the icebox). View all Bonny Doon Vineyard Wines
About Central CoastView a map of Central Coast wineries
The largest of California's wine growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of California's wine. The district sprawls out, covering most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara. Smaller sub-AVAs of the Central Coast include Monterey Bay, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains and many others.
Notable FactsGrape varieties range from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. Some Central Coast wine is generic, bulk wine that contributes to the high production numbers of the area. But many winemakers and wineries, particular in some of the smaller AVAs, are small production artisans, creating unique and high-quality wine. The great thing about the Central Coast is its diversity - you're able to find a number of grape varieties and styles at a number of different price points.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.