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Bonny Doon Madiran Heart of Darkness 1998

Other Red Blends from France
    0% ABV
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    0% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    One first observes this wine as through a glass darkly and more likely than not will consume this dun and brooding wine in complete and utter silence, the winter light streaming through the unshuttered window. As searingly severe as Madiran is often made to seem, this (comparatively) light-hearted rendition of the classic appellation might easily provoke smiles if consumed upon a summer night. Taking out one's sommelier corkscrew and removing the seventh seal and cork, one might espy a dark and shadowy figure. Is it Death? (More likely hard and unresolved tannins.) One might emit cries and whispers at the depth and fragrance of this tannat/cabernet franc powerhouse poured in an oversized Riedel glass or even into some sort of magic flute. The wine was clearly produced by some sort of magician and it would be a shame not to consume it with all these women. Strongly aromatic, owing to the high percentage of cabernet franc in the blend, the wine possesses a fragrance of pure wild strawberries.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Bonny Doon

    Bonny Doon

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    Bonny Doon, France
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    Based in Santa Cruz, heartland of New Age thinking and deferred transition to adulthood, Bonny Doon Vineyard has a not-so surprising history of idealism and innovation. Founded by Randall Grahm in the bucolic hamlet of Bonny Doon, California, in 1983, we’re known for strikingly original wines made from lesser-known (though no less noble) grape varieties, the vinous Ugly Ducklings. Bonny Doon Vineyard made its mark with pioneering work with Rhône varieties, innovative production techniques, and imaginative marketing that has, truth be told, sometimes been too clever by half. Since the adoption of biodynamic farming practices in 2004 and the radical slimming down of product portfolio and case production in 2006 (with a concomitant greater degree of focus and attention to detail), the wines evince a more complex expression of varietal character, a more noticeable sense of organization, and a greater degree of life-force.

    Come visit our Tasting Room, located at 450 Highway 1, Davenport, CA, about 10 miles north of Santa Cruz. This is a wonderful intimate space that is the perfect venue to enjoy our doon-home wines, even if your home is perhaps Alpha Centauri. We’re here to serve mankind (wines that are out of this world).

    Nearly synonymous with fine wine and all things epicurean, France has a culture of wine production and consumption that is deeply rooted in tradition. Many of the world’s most beloved grape varieties originated here, as did the concept of “terroir”—soil type, elevation, slope angle and mesoclimate combine to produce resulting wines that convey a sense of place. Accordingly, most French wine is labeled by geographical location, rather than grape variety. So a general understaning of which grapes correspond to which regions can be helpful in navigating all of the types of French wine. Some of the greatest wine regions in the world are here, including Bordeaux, Burgundy, the Rhône, and Champagne, but each part of the country has its own specialties and strengths.

    Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, are the king and queen of Burgundy, producing elegant red and white wines with great acidity, the finest examples of which can age for decades. The same varieties, along with Pinot Meunier, are used in Champagne. Of comparable renown is Bordeaux, focused on bold, structured red wines made of blends of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc including sometimes a small amount of Petit Verdot or Malbec. The primary white varieties of Bordeaux are Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon. The Rhône Valley is responsible for monovarietal Syrah in the north, while the south specializes in Grenache blends; Rhône's main white variety is Viognier.

    Most of these grape varieties are planted throughout the country and beyond, extending their influence into other parts of Europe and New World appellations.

    Other Red Blends

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    With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

    SOU30281_1998 Item# 17777