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Bonny Doon Gravitas White Blend 2015

ID No: 445832
Vintage:2015
Bottle Size:750 ml
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Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare 2019

Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare  is made from 57% Grenache, 18% Grenache Blanc, 9% Mourvèdre, 6% Roussanne, 5% Carignane, 5% Cinsaut

No oak.

This wine is quite emblematic of the great sea change that has occurred at Bonny Doon Vineyard since the sell-off/ draw-down of the Ginormous Doonamath, whereby we have essayed a most sincere effort to make “quieter” wines in a more natural, less manipulated fashion. As such, this Vin Gris is made from bespoke grapes and is not a byproduct of red wine production, per se. We harvested at the appropriate ripeness level for its style. The essential principle here is that less is truly more. The wine does not overwhelm one with fruitybombasticity; it’s charms are seductively subtle. An extremely elegant and complex Vin Gris de Cigare.

The Vin Gris is a return to form from recent vintages, and a true expression of a proper Vin Gris, which is to say a pale pink wine made with the scantest skin contact. As a result, the wine is somewhat lighter and more delicate on the palate with minimal astringency and perhaps more of a floral aspect than doonright fruitiness. The perfume of this wine is subtle, haunting, not vulgar or tawdry, like some of the louche rosés de la nuit. Enfin, this wine is all about elegance and restraint. Rosehips, cassis, fraises de bois, citrus rind, with a wonderfully austere stony finish.
The wine does not overwhelm one with fruity-bombasticity; it’s charms are seductively subtle. An extremely elegant and complex Vin Gris de Cigare.

The Grenache for our Vin Gris came from bespoke sections of the Alta Loma Vineyard, harvested at the appropriate maturity level for this elegant style of wine. About 24% of the wine is composed of traditional white Rhône varieties in substantial part from the Beeswax Vineyard in the Arroyo Seco district of Monterey, adding a surprising richness and foundation. We also employed the practice of postfermentation bâtonnage—the stirring or re-suspension of yeast lees—to give the wine a certain creaminess of texture.

Varietal Blend: 57% Grenache, 18% Grenache Blanc, 9% Mourvèdre, 6% Roussanne, 5% Carignane, 5% Cinsaut. 
Appellation: Central Coast
Vineyards: 41% Alta Loma, 13% Beeswax, 11% Bokisch Ranch, 8% JD Farming, 6% San Miguel, 7% Cass, 5% Gonsalves, 4% Scheid, 3% Wente, 1% Rancho Solo, 1% Ventan
Alcohol by Volume: 13.2%
TA: 4.5 g/L
pH: 3.42

This wine just begs for oysters or stone crab.


Bonny Doon Le Cigare Volant Cuvee Oumuamua 2018

Bonny Doon Le Cigare Volant Cuvee Oumuamua  is made from 52% Grenache, 35% Cinsault, 13% Syrah.

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
 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.


INEYARD | PRODUCTION NOTES
The Alta Loma Vineyard in the Arroyo Seco area of Monterey County, was planted years back to one of the earlier selections of Tablas Creek Grenache clones, typically not a great selection for imparting real backbone or structure to the wine, but capable of making a wine that is enormously pretty and fragrant; in cool years, the fragrance of cassis or black currant is almost overpowering; most surprisingly, the Grenache in cool years from this vineyard is profoundly black in color. The Cinsault was sourced from the Loma del Rio Vineyard, a vineyard, under a previous nom de guerre (San Bernabe), we know quite well. This was the first year of production for the Cinsault and it was thinned multiple times both for enhanced concentration and evenness of ripening. The cooler climate gives the Cinsault a wonderful articulation of flavor, but what is most noteworthy is the fact that we were able to coferment the Cinsault with Syrah from the equally cool Mesa Verde Vyd. in the Santa Ynez Valley. Something magical happens when Syrah and Cinsault marry; the healthy tannin titer from the Syrah seems to give more structure to the Cinsault, helps to stabilize the color, and in general, insures that the blend will not evanesce tout de suite into the aetherial plane. The spicy, licorice component from the Syrah is a perfect foil to the Griotte cherry derived from the Cinsault.


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
Production: 11,500 cases
Cellaring: Drinkable upon release (6/19) with ageability of 7-10 years



Bonny Doon Old Telegram Mourvedre 2018

Bonny Doon Old Telegram Mourvedre is made from 100 percent 100% Mourvedre.

Like the Rhone classic, it is produced from grapes which the label identifies as Mataro, an alias under which thick-skinned, late-ripening Mourvedre sometimes goes. From the nose, one scents licorice, blood(!) (make that very rare meat), blackberries (both berry and leaf), wet earth. There is a definite scent of beef bouillon, one of the absolute true signifiers of (proper) Mourvèdre. On the palate, the tannins are very plush and soft, almost a sense of sweetness (emphatically no R.S. in this), but with a really vibrant acidity and very great length. We somehow skirted the peril of over- ripeness and raisination, which is always a bit of a peril in the sunny climes of Antioch, CA. The wine is rich but also quite elegant at the same time.

Pairs with Wine-braised lamb shanks with herbes de Provence. Enoki mushroom tempura with soy-based dipping sauce. Hoisin-marinated chicken breasts served with wild & brown rice medley. Wild mushroom & thyme pizza. Pork shoulder. Beef short ribs.

Avennia Sestina Red Blend 2015

Avennia Sestina Red Blend is made from 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc

The Sestina is a poetic form from Medieval France. Just as a contemporary poet can use an old form like the Sestina to express modern ideas, we use the traditional Bordeaux blend to make modern wines that express Washington fruit. Sestina is our vision for an old vine blend where the focus is on structure, balance, and complexity. This wine is designed for the cellar, but is enjoyable now.

Sestina: This wine is a blockbuster, with black currant, black raspberry, saddle leather, freshly tilled earth, vanilla, and violet on the nose. Exceedingly rich and balanced on the palate, with great poise and structure for long aging. The finish echoes with fresh black fruits, minerally touches, and floral notes.

Review:

"The 2015 Sestina is showing very well, offering up a rich, more exuberant bouquet than the 2014 rendition. This emphasizes notes of cassis, black plums, dark chocolate, espresso roast and a subtle framing of new oak. On the palate, it's full-bodied and lavish but controlled, with an ample, more sun-kissed core of fruit and fine-grained structuring tannins. Like the 2014, it's a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. While the 2014 and 2015 are quite different in style, it's hard to choose between them qualitatively. While it needs a few years in the cellar, I suspect the 2015 will hit its peak sooner. - William Kelley"
- Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate (Issue 237, June 29th 2018), 96 pts

Number #93 On Top 100 Cellar Selections From Wine Enthusiast 

"The flagship 2015 Sestina checks in as 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc brought up in 60% new French oak. Gorgeous notes of blackcurrants, black cherries, graphite, wet river rock, and leafy herbs all emerge from this beautifully balanced, fresh, classic wine that's still tight and backward. It's not a blockbuster but has building richness and tannin, as well as a great finish. Give bottles 2-3 years and enjoy over the following 10-15."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2018), 95+ pts

 Wine Advocate: 96 95 Points
Keermont White Blend Terrasse 2016

Keermont White Blend is made from 39% Chenin Blanc (34% Riverside parcel - 26% Low Road Parcel and 5% Bobbejaan parcel), 34% Sauvignon Blanc (Uitkyk parcel), 14% Viognier (Cottage Lane parcel) and 13% Chardonnay (Low Road Parcel).


A polished light yellow gold color, this wine has a bouquet of citrus blossom with hazelnut, lemon grass and butterscotch undertones. The wine has a soft sweet entry with a racy linear acidity. Ripe citrus and stone fruit flavours evolve into a lovely lingering dry earthy finish. This is a textured white wine with layers of flavour. 


"The 2016 Keermont Terrasse underwent a little skin contact and was barrel-fermented in 225- and 500-liter barrels with around 10% new oak for 12 months. It has a fresh bouquet of white peach, honeysuckle and a touch of melted candle wax. The palate is well balanced, considering that Alex Starey said it was the first vintage that endured drought problems (hence the higher percentage of Sauvignon Blanc), offering grass clipping, gooseberry and nettle toward the finish. Very fine. - Neal Martin"

- Vinous (August 28th 2018), 90 pts


"Always a crowd pleaser, the Terrasse shows very appealing white stone fruit, lemon curd and floral scents. Softly textured with good backbone and firm acidity complementing riper stone fruit and citrus flavors. A blend of 39% Chenin Blanc, 34% Sauvignon blanc, 14% Viognier and 13% Chardonnay fermented and aged in used 500L barrels for 12 months. Lees stirred only during fermentation then left to sit on the lees.13% alc."

- International Wine Review (January 2019), 91 pts

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 90 International Wine Review: 91
Keermont White Blend Terrasse 2017

Keermont White Blend is made from 53% Chenin Blanc, 20% Sauvignon Blanc and 13% Chardonnay .


A polished light yellow gold color, this wine has a bouquet of citrus blossom with hazelnut, lemon grass and butterscotch undertones. The wine has a soft sweet entry with a racy linear acidity. Ripe citrus and stone fruit flavours evolve into a lovely lingering dry earthy finish. This is a textured white wine with layers of flavour. 


"Alex Starey is better known for his reds than his whites, but this cuvée of Chenin Blanc with 45% Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne (the last two included for the first time) is wonderful too. Very much a southern Rhône style, it's savoury and herbal, with notes of honeysuckle, stone fruit and citrus, deftly framed by oak. 2020-24"

- Tim Atkin (South Africa 2020 Report), 94 pts

 Wine Advocate: 91 94 Points
Product Description

Bonny Doon Gravitas White Blend 61% Semillon, 35% Sauvignon Blanc, 4% Gewürztraminer

The nose has the haunting perfume of magnolia flowers and scent of white peaches, with suggestions of ripe Bosc Pear, sweet green grass, exotic saffron and a touch of lavender honey. But wait, there’s more: A bit of bergamot orange blossom, jasmine, and key lime custard, quince and Madagascar vanilla. These aromas are echoed on the palate adding a light, deft, fresh acidity; a savory wine, perfect with all manner of seafood and lighter entrées.

Pairs with oysters, cassoulet, grilled veggies. Staff favorites include blackened fish tacos - or if you're feeling fancy, lobster tacos!

Winery: Bonny Doon Vineyard
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Praia Vinho Verde NV

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The grapes are carefully selected from the best vineyards of the Vinho Verde region - the most extensive in Portugal.
Praia, which means "beach" in Portuguese, is a smooth and fresh wine with delicate and lovely fruity flavors. Slightly spritzy, it is well balanced and very refreshing.
The wine is ideal as an aperitif or throughout a meal, especially with fish, seafood, white meat and salads.  Due to it freshness, it is particularly pleasant in a relaxed and informal ambiance.

The region is typical for its unique wines that are fresh and light, combined with a very well balanced acidity. These characteristics result from the region's unique soil and climate, with a strong Atlantic influence that you will identify when you taste it.

"Full of fruit, a lasting peach flavor targeted with laser like acidity through the finish. It has the bite of salty ocean air and a lot of zing. For langoustines."

What: a range of top-notch Vinho Verde and Douro wines at prices that encourage overindulgence.
Standout: Made from the Guedes family's best selection of fruit, is filled with peach fruit and saline acidity.
From Penafiel, northeast of Porto, in the hills of Vinho Verde.
- Wine & Spirits, June 09 - VALUE BRAND
92 pts - TOP 100 VALUES OF THE YEAR

"It's rare to find a vinho verde – the famously light and refreshing "green" white wine of Portugal – that isn't delightful, but this is one of the best of the breed. And there's no better time to quaff these wines than in the spring and summer. This version is lightly effervescent, with a lively acidity that wakes up the palate. It combines lime and peach flavors with a whiff of sea breeze. Somehow it manages to be both ethereal and penetrating. The ultimate picnic wine? Perhaps. It begs to be drunk outdoors."
- The Baltimore Sun (April 23rd 2012)

 92 Points
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