Friday, March 27, 2015

Bonny Doon Minds Its Own Beeswax

Le Cigare Blanc is the white counterpart to the always awesome Le Cigare Volant red blend, named for the alien spacecraft "banned by decree of the village council of Ch√Ęteauneuf-du-Pape." The flying cigars may not be allowed to land in France, but they land in my place a lot. They are welcome visitors from another appellation far, far away. Well, just a bit north of me, anyway.

The 2013 Le Cigare Blanc, "Beeswax Vineyard," is a combination of 55% Roussanne grapes, 26% Grenache Blanc and 19% Picpoul grapes from Monterey County's Beeswax Vineyard. Roussanne and Grenache Blanc get around a bit in California, but I'd love to hear of another Cali wine sporting Picpoul.

Bonny Doon Vineyard winemaker Randall Grahm states, "We've made a very slight label change with this vintage. An echo of the mineral character that we were able to express in the wonderful '11, but perhaps a tad richer on the palate." Minerals are good, richer is good. I'm looking forward to sipping. The wine hits 14.5% abv on the alcohol scale and sells for $28 per bottle. 1965 cases were produced, and if there are any left at this time it's an oenological crime.

The '13 Le Cigare Blanc shows in the glass just slightly richer than pale gold. Aromas of quince and peach are smacked with a delightful salinity - not quite the smell of salt water, but pretty close to it. There's a note of candle wax in there, too. The palate is exquisite, with lovely white fruit flavors and a decent acidity which is tempered by the wine's mellow mouthfeel. Traces of a floral sense melt into a slightly saline feel on the finish.

It fits so well with a pasta salad featuring mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes and capers that it seems incredible to think that the wine wasn't made with that dish in mind.