Bonny Doon Le Cigare Blanc 2014 Front Label
Bonny Doon Le Cigare Blanc 2014 Front LabelBonny Doon Le Cigare Blanc 2014 Front Bottle Shot

Bonny Doon Le Cigare Blanc 2014

  • WE93
  • JS93
750ML / 14% ABV
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  • WS90
  • WE91
  • RP88
  • RP87
  • WE92
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3.7 41 Ratings
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3.7 41 Ratings
750ML / 14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Le Cigare Blanc is the white analog of Le Cigare Volant, the winery's homage to the complex blended wines of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. The great white Cigare is not unlike the great white whale; rarely seen, difficult to catch, yet its name is legend. It's a rich, savory wine with greater power and extraction than one typically finds at Bonny Doon.

This is a wine that you definitely want to serve with a rich beurre blanc, though a lobster risotto would also serve quite nicely.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
There's a compellingly nutty warmth to the nose of this reserve blend of 66% Grenache Blanc and 34% Roussanne, with pecan and cashew aromas as well as more tart scents of key lime peels and lemon mousse. It lands heavily on the palate with roasted banana flavors and a buttery midpalate, but it is cut immediately by a kumquat tartness. Fascinating sipper.
JS 93
James Suckling
Very pretty dried apple, pineapple and mango follow through to medium to full body with fresh acidity. Mineral, stone and limestone undertones. A serious white. A blend of grenache blanc and roussanne. From biodynamically-grown grapes.
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Bonny Doon

Bonny Doon

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Bonny Doon, California
Bonny Doon Popelouchum Vineyard Winery Image

While Bonny Doon Vineyard began with the (in retrospect) foolish 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.

Since then, Bonny Doon Vineyard has enjoyed a long history of innovation – the first to truly popularize Rhône grapes in California, to successfully work with cryo-extraction for sundry “Vins de Glacière, the first to utilize microbullage in California, the first to popularize screwcaps for premium wines, and, quite significantly, the first to embrace true transparency in labeling with its ingredient labeling initiative. The upside of all of this activity has brought an extraordinary amount of creativity and research to the California wine scene; the doon-side, as it were, was perhaps an ever so slight inability to focus, to settle doon, if you will, into a single, coherent direction.1

Bonny Doon Vineyard grew and grew with some incredibly popular brands (Big House, Cardinal Zin and Pacific Rim) until it became the 28th largest winery in the United States. Randall came to the realization – better late than Nevers – that he had found that the company had diverged to a great extent from his original intention of producing soulful, distinctive and original wines, and that while it was amusing to be able to get restaurant reservations almost anywhere (the only real tangible perk he was able to discern from the vast scale of the operation), it was time to take a decisive course correction. With this in mind, he sold off the larger brands (Big House and Cardinal Zin) in 2006 and Pacific Rim in 2010.

In the intervening years, the focus of the winery has been to spend far more time working with vineyards in improving their practices, as well as on making wines with a much lighter touch – using indigenous yeast whenever possible, and more or less eschewing vinous maquillage, (at least not to Tammy Faye Bakker-like levels). Recently, Randall has purchased an extraordinary property in San Juan Bautista, which he calls Popelouchum, (the Mutsun word for “paradise,”) where he is profoundly intent on producing singular wines expressive of place. There are also very grand plans afoot to plant a dry-farmed Estate Cigare vineyard.

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Arroyo Seco Wine

Monterey, California

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Named after the dramatic, seasonal river of rain and snowmelt that cuts through the upper elevations of the Santa Lucia Mountains, the Arroyo Seco AVA extends east from the resultant mountain gorge, and into the rural and warm Salinas Valley. During the growing season, cool and damp Pacific Ocean air penetrates the gorge and flows into the valley, creating a cool evening respite for vineyards after a hot summer day. This natural water-release has also created a subterranean aquifer, which helps set the foundation of the AVA's boundaries and supplies the vineyards with water.

Arroyo Seco was actually home to the first commercial vineyard in California, called Mission Ranch, which was owned and propogated by the Mirassou family in the 1960s.

Chardonnay is most widely grown here. But as one of Monterey’s warmer regions, Arroyo Seco enjoys the highest praise for its reds, namely Bordeaux blends.

Arroyo Seco is one of the oldest AVAs in California, its status granted in the early 1980s, and also remains one of its smallest.

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Full-bodied and flavorful, white Rhône blends originate from France’s Rhône Valley. Today these blends are also becoming popular in other regions. Typically some combination of Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier form the basis of a white Rhône blend with varying degrees of flexibility depending on the exact appellation. Somm Secret—In the Northern Rhône, blends of Marsanne and Roussanne are common but the south retains more variety. Marsanne, Roussanne as well as Bourboulenc, Clairette, Picpoul and Ugni Blanc are typical.

SKRUSBDV3014_2014 Item# 262530

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