Wednesday, June 15, 2005

2002 Le Cigare Volant

This is a great wine from the Bonny Doon Vinyard.

We have noted previously that a Cigare dominated by grenache - the traditional varietal and moral center in neufs-du-Papes be they Chateau or Crypto - is a wholly different animal from one dominated by mourvedre or syrah and that is certainly the case here. Only in 1993, 1995 and 1999 has grenache contributed a similarly small percentage of the blend and these wines are indeed rogues of a sort - more broad and powerful than most of the garnachistas. We are currently pursuing numerous investigative avenues trying to tease out and retain a greater impression of minerality from the wines. In the cellar, this means we have probably spent enough time goofing around with various adjuncts, ameliorants and other hokum in a sincere attemp to roll the ultimate Cigare. Embracing a more Eastern - one might say Right Bank - sensibility, we are now directing more of our efforts where they more properly belong, in the bloody vineyards. So while the 2002 may be a larger, beefier number than some other vintages I could name, it is hardly a juced-up, mesomorphic golem conjured up in the top secret, "Oys Only" sectors of the cellar. The high percentages of mourvedre and syrah endow the wine with an evocative smoky, meaty, peppery core on which to rest its somewhat rotund boo-tay. It may be a hit too much to ask a wine knit together with grapes from numerous different vineyards to express terroir, but there is also an undeniable stony note that contibutes a metadimension of flavor. Fear not though, fruit lovers of America, the widely divergent spectrum of flavors is still topped off by licorice, black cherry,and an electric bolt of black currant.

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