Bonny Doon Le Cigare Volant 2011 Front Label
Bonny Doon Le Cigare Volant 2011 Front LabelBonny Doon Le Cigare Volant 2011 Front Bottle ShotBonny Doon Le Cigare Volant 2011 Back Bottle Shot

Bonny Doon Le Cigare Volant 2011

  • WE93
750ML / 14.2% ABV
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750ML / 14.2% ABV

Winemaker Notes

A beautiful wine-dark, mulberry color, and a first nose of dark, cool loamy earth with suggestions of raspberries, Damson plums and cherry/chocolate. On the palate, it is sleek and racy with a lively acidity, very soft tannins and great persistence. This is a wine from an extremely cool and elegant vintage, and by all experience, should be a great prospect for very long ageing and development.

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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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California

Red Wine

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A major force on the global playing field, California is the world’s fourth largest wine-producing region on the planet and the majority of land under vine here is devoted to red varieties, covering nearly double the vineyard acreage of whites.

While the state’s incredibly diverse terrain and microclimates allow for countless red wine styles, the one factor unifying all California red wine is the abundance of sunshine and a long, consistent growing season, which leads to well-developed and fully ripened fruit.

The most famous region today, of course, is the acclaimed Napa Valley, where Cabernet Sauvignon reigns as king.

Sonoma County, nestled between Napa Valley and the Pacific Ocean, claims great variability in geography and microclimates. Here world-class Pinot Noir is possible from Sonoma’s cooler sites while old, gnarly Zinfandel vines survived Prohibition.

The Central Coast, Lodi and the Sierra Foothills also excel in the production of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and remain active frontiers for newer varieties, namely Rhône and Spanish.

The cool Anderson Valley in California’s North Coast region is a fantastic source of Pinot noir.

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CHMBND3001011_2011 Item# 144492

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