90 Points - James Suckling
A balanced and rich red with plum and spice character. Hints of dried fruits and dried meat. Medium to full body, round and soft tannins and a delicious finish. A blend of cabernet sauvignon, petit verdot, tannat, merlot, syrah, cabernet franc and petite sirah. From biodynamically-grown grapes.
Nearly everything about Bonny Doon makes it stand out from the crowd. Credit for this is due to founder and winemaker, Randall Graham for taking bold steps like using screwcaps, giving very original names given to the wines, disclosing levels of sulphites on the back label and choosing eye-catching labels. And it has worked! Using only estate-grown fruit from biodynamically farmed vineyards in Santa Cruz, Bonny Doon’s wines are premium examples of some of California’s best Rhone style blends. The flagship red and white, Le Cigare Volant is a tribute to the French region that provides the inspiration for his winemaking endeavours. Translated from French it means Flying Cigar, a reference to the bizarre law from the appellation of Châteauneuf-du-Pape banning these objects from flying over the vineyards. The red Cigare Volant follows the southern Rhone’s practice of using mostly grenache fruit offering ripe red fruit overlaid with sweet spices. The richness and intensity achieved yields a wine very similar to the real thing. In respect of the Cigare Volant Blanc, vintage conditions dictate whether the majority role in the blend is played by either Roussanne or Grenache Blanc. A stone fruit driven wine with honeyed notes, it has soft appeal from its creamy texture.
California is the largest and most important wine region in the US – in fact, if California were a separate country it would be the world’s fourth largest wine producer! California stretches along the west coast of the USA meaning that soils and climates vary enormously depending on the area’s altitude, latitude and proximity to the Pacific Ocean. Generally the cooler regions closer to the coast are most suited to the growing of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, whilst further inland (where the climate is much hotter) some of California’s most famous Cabernet Sauvignon wines are grown. The famous Ridge Estate is located here and produces some of the best and most sought after wines in California. If you enjoy Chardonnay, we highly recommend you take a look at Liquid Farm Winery, whose Chardonnay’s (we believe!) rival those of Burgundy.
Zalto Denk-Art Bordeaux Glass
For weightier style reds we recommend the Zalto Bordeaux glass, probably our most widely used glass when tasting in house, this glass is great for many different wines. The large bowl helping aerate and soften tannins whilst accentuating the wines depth and concentration. The Bordeaux glass is the ideal choice for Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Zinfandel, Bordeaux or Rhone style blends and many other red wines. Surprisingly, it is also the glass of choice for oaked Chardonnay as well, the shape of the bowl accentuating the balance of ripe fruits and oak.
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