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A Monday Night Wine

By Jasmine · August 1st, 2011 · No Comments

There are nights when Joe and I look at each other and say, “Let’s have wine tonight!” Shocking, I know. Tonight we said that and then I added, “A GOOD wine.” So we dug through our special wines, our “company” wines, to see what could have with our gnocchi.
We decided on a 2005 Le Cigare Volant from Bonny Doon. We’ve been hanging on to this one for two or three years now and it seems to have aged beautifully. The story behind the name is a good one, so I’ll give you some excerpts from the label:

“In 1954 the village council of Chateauneuf-du-pape was quite perturbed and apprehensive that flying saucers or “flying cigars” might do damage in their vineyards were they to land therein. So, right thinking men all, they created an ordinance prohibiting the landing of flying saucers or flying cigars in their vineyards. (This ordinance has worked very well in discouraging such landings.) The ordinance further states that any volitational object that did alight was to be taken immediately to the pound…”

And so the makeup of the wine is based on the traditional blend of Chateauneuf-du-Pape: 50% grenache, 24% mourvedre, 22%syrah, 3% carignane and 1% cinsault.

And now you’ll ask, what’s cinsault? Apparently it is the fourth most planted grape in France. But why have we never heard of it? Clearly it’s not popular in the U.S., and as far as I can tell, it’s most often used as a blending grape. Since winemakers don’t always have to list every single grape they use in a blend, only the majority, it seems to be a forgotten little sister.

First Impressions of the wine itself: It’s a deep red, the color of very ripe cherries, with shades of black and almost-purple. Smell is still a bit sharp as we haven’t let it decant for long. Some smokey tones, but not a smoke-heavy wine. Fairly soft, with a lighter mouthfeel than you would expect–from the color I would have expected tobacco and chocolate but no. Very berry aftertaste, but it’s savory, not jammy.  Complex and wonderful, even when it’s clearly not opened up all the way. After a few hours there is definitely more chocolate right up front.

A wine worth seeking out–the Bonny Doon website doesn’t even list this vintage any more, so it must be tough to get. Doesn’t it make you feel special to drink things other people can’t have? Take that!

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