First day of actual Spring-like weather today (actually during Spring) as well as the most American sign of Spring (Opening Day of the Major League Baseball season) all but requires us to present a domestic made white wine. Which of course we have in abundance. For fun we chose a wine that pokes the most fun at the French and their wine, while at the same time pays respect to their history and greatness. Bonny Doon Winery is one of the great old guards of the 'Rhone Ranger' movement in California, among the first to plant and promote the Rhone varieties over more marketable grapes like Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Pinot Noir. Since their inception the top red and white wines were built to emulate those of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, using the varieties made famous in those blends. The names of 'Cigare Volant' and 'Cigare Blanc', however, call to memory one of the most comedic moments in wine history. After the sighting of a UFO in Northern France in 1954 (described as a 'cigare volant' or 'flying cigar' based on its alleged shape), the mayor of Chateauneuf-du-Pape wrote a decree that it was against the law for UFOs to land in their vineyards. That's right, the area best known for producing the first code of standards for its vineyards (later to become the basis of the French AOC system, leading to CNDP becoming the first AOC) put a law on the books to outlaw aliens.
Anyway, back to the wine created in honor of that inauspicious event. Built from primarily Grenache Blanc and Roussanne from the Beeswax Vineyard in Arroyo Seco (remember the name for the April Select Six) the aromas are full of melon, wildflowers and waxy white fruits. The exotic notes of the Roussanne come out more and more as the wine opens up, more exotic teas and lavender, really perfumed and beautiful without sweetness. The palate is rounded and -again- waxy with only the slightest hints of barrel in the background, with lots of melon skin tannins behind the rich stone fruits and almost creamy lemon curd notes. A beautiful wine to marry up to a richly textured dish when you don't want the oaky/barrely aspects of Californian Chardonnay.
The Best of the Best.
We offering free tastings on these wines in the store every Thursday and Friday, and a 10% discount off the retail price through the duration of the day. Come on by and give them a try!