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Bonny Doon Le Cigare Volant
Bonny Doon
United States - California - Central Coast

As our story unfolds, we learn that with the 2018 vintage, there has been a fundamental change in the style of Le Cigare Volant. Not that there was anything at all “wrong” with the thirty-four vintages preceding the current one, mind you. For a number of reasons, mostly, alas, drearily fiscal/economical, the older style of Cigare has unfortunately proven to be a not particularly sustainable proposition at least from a financial perspective. The “new” Cigare, with a re-adjustment of the encépagement, by which we have dropped Mourvèdre from the mix and elevated the percentage of the (greatly underappreciated) and quite brilliant variety, Cinsault, creates a style of wine far more approachable and seductive in its youth.

“Cuvée Oumuamua?”
We call this cuvée, “Oumuamua,” (or “scout” in Hawaiian), so named in light of the recent mysterious cigar-shaped object/visitor to our solar system, initially imagined to be some sort of asteroid, but believed by none other than the chairman of the Astronomy Dept. at Harvard University to possibly be a sort of probe, perhaps a solar-powered light-sail, sent on a kind of reconnaissance mission to check us out. (Ok, this last part is a bit of interpolation.) Anyhoo, it has been agreed that this was a very, very strange object that recently came to visit. And it appears that it may have arrived in the very nick of time, to bring a sort of much-needed revitalization to our planet, and by metaphoric extension, to the Cigare brand itself.

TASTING NOTES
2018 was a wonderful cool vintage, providing us grapes with great natural acidity and real vibrancy of flavor. The color is a deep, vivid violet-red, owing in part to the lower pH of the wine. On the nose, the wine has a haunting kirsch nose (I suspect that’s the Cinsault), along with associated small red fruit (red and black currant) and perhaps a suggestion of blackberry. My colleague, Nicole Walsh and I toil away at the Cigare blend every year, and while the blend will change (sometimes radically, as it has this year), we share an idea of the Platonic form of Cigare, and the ‘17 certainly embodies that form. It goes something like this: Juiciness, fruit (but not confected or overripe), brightness, exuberance, joy, and not least, a sense of savoriness. I realize I’m not speaking orthodox wine parlance. We look above all for balance and for liveliness, for vinous qi. This wine is still incredibly young and just wants to jump out of its shoes.

Specifications
Appellation
Central Coast
Varietal(s)
52% Grenache, 35% Cinsault and 13% Syrah (2018)
Vinification
Appellation: Monterey County
Vineyards: 48% Alta Loma, 35% Loma Del Rio, 6% Mesa Verde, 6% Zayante, 4% Rancho Solo 1% Lieff
Alcohol by Volume: 13.5%
TA: 6.1 g/L
pH: 3.62
Cellaring: Drinkable upon release (6/19) with ageability of 7-10 years
Production
11,500 (9-liter cases)

Reviews and News

2018 Bonny Doon Le Cigare Volant Cuvée Oumuamua - 93 PTS - Editors' Choice - WE

2018 Bonny Doon Le Cigare Volant Cuvée Oumuamua - 93 PTS - Editors' Choice - WE

wine enthusiast"Randall Grahm's ever-evolving ideology shifted again for the new label and blend of this bottling, which includes 52% Grenache, 35% Cinsault and 13% Syrah. Aromas of plum, cracked pepper, crumpled carnations and dried mint lead into a bright, refreshing palate of hibiscus, anise and a curry-like spice. MATT KETTMANN
- Wine Enthusiast (December 2019), 93 pts

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2018 Bonny Doon Le Cigare Volant Cuvée Oumuamua - 91 PTS - VINOUS

2018 Bonny Doon Le Cigare Volant Cuvée Oumuamua - 91 PTS - VINOUS

vinous logo"Deep, shimmering red. Displays lively red berry, cherry and floral qualities on the nose, along with building suggestions of exotic spices and succulent herbs. Juicy and precise on the palate, offering fresh raspberry, bitter cherry and spicecake flavors that slowly turn sweeter with air. Shows sharp delineation and spicy cut on the impressively long, silky finish, which emphatically repeats the red fruit and floral notes. This vintage marks a sharp and intentional change of direction and style for this iconic wine as winemaker/owner Randall Grahm wants it to exhibit more finesse than it has in the past.- Josh Raynolds"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (November 2019), 91 pts

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2012 Bonny Doon Le Cigare Volant - 92 PTS - VINOUS

2012 Bonny Doon Le Cigare Volant - 92 PTS - VINOUS

vinous logo"Dark red. Aromas of raspberry jam musky flowers and earth are joined by spice licorice and vanilla nuances as the wine opens up. Juicy focused and smoky on the palate offering sweet red berry cherry and succulent herb flavors that deepen steadily on the back half. Supple tannins frame and add grip to a very long spice-laced finish that echoes the earth and floral notes. - Josh Raynolds"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (October 2018), 92 pts

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2012 Bonny Doon Le Cigare Volant - 89 PTS - WS

2012 Bonny Doon Le Cigare Volant - 89 PTS - WS

wine spectator 89 pts"Offers an appealing gamy side, with aromas of smoky cedar and peppered herb leading to compact but complex flavors of dried cherry, sage and licorice. Mourvèdre, Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault. Drink now through 2024. 4,238 cases made. –TF"
- Wine Spectator (2016), 89 pts

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Producer Information: Bonny Doon

Bonny Doon Vineyard was founded in 1983 by renowned winemaker Randall Grahm.

Randall’s start in the wine industry was not what you might expect for someone with his reputation and talent: ...
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