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Orin Swift - Coriole Vineyards - Bonny Doon
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.