Bonny Doon, the Santa Cruz-based winery that's on a self-described "adventure to make naturally soulful, distinctive, and original wine," is heading into spring with another vintage of its beautiful rosé. Randall Grahm calls his Vin Gris de Cigare the "pink analogue of Le Cigare Volant," the flagship wine of the Dooniverse.
The 2018 vintage, maybe the 35th or so, is made from 38.5% Grenache grapes, 30.5% Grenache Blanc, 12.5% Carignane, 10% Cinsaut, 6% Mourvèdre, 2% Picpoul and a dash of Vermentino. For me, it's a rite of spring, and a rite I would love to have on Thanksgiving, too, if I could hold off that long on opening the bottle. Grahm says the pink wine will improve in the screw-top bottle for several years, by the way. He sorts the grapes this way:
"The Grenache for our Vin Gris came in large part from bespoke sections of the Alta Loma Vineyard, a cool climate site in the Arroyo Seco region of Monterey County that gives us grapes with a distinctive black currant character. The Carignane, responsible for the fundament of the wine, derived from very old vines from Antioch in Contra Costa County. A substantial percentage of the wine is composed of the elegant Grenache Blanc variety, adding a lovely richness and foundation to the '18 vintage. The Cinsaut,... ah, a delicate cherry top note." He also notes that the lees were stirred to give a creamy mouthfeel.
The '18 Vin Gris de Cigare is very pale pink in the glass, quite lovely in fact. The nose shows red fruit and a light floral note with a savory mineral edge. The palate displays cherries and apples, with a very light and creamy mouthfeel, yet with a wonderful acidity.