Grenache Blanc is a white wine grape most famously grown in France’s Rhone Valley region, but originated in Spain. In Spain, Grenache Blanc is still used in Rioja and Navarre. In addition, it is the 4th largest crop grown in France and is used in the Chateauneuf du Pape blends. Grenache Blanc is relatively easy to grow as it resists drought naturally, is generally hearty, and ripens fairly early. Climates with warm days and cool nights are ideal for Grenache Blanc and will bring out intensity and depth. It can be a strong contender as a single-variety wine, displayed in wines produced along the California Central Coast, but its characteristics make it an ideal blending element. With high alcohol and low, but crisp, acidity, Grenache Blanc will bring balance to any blend. The nose will often display as green apple, mandarin orange, mineral, and peach. In some cases, Grenache Blanc will have a slight finish of licorice. When blended with Roussane, Grenache Blanc will give flavor and length and its acid will balance the rich sweetness.
Bonny Doon Le Cigare Blanc is made from 54% Grenache Blanc, 46% Vermentino.
Le Cigare Blanc is the white analog of Le Cigare Volant, Bonny Doon's flagship wine, named in honor of the cigarshaped alien craft banned by decree of the village council of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. A blend of 54% Grenache Blanc and 46% Vermentino, this wine is a study in pome fruit and citrus —Asian pear, green apple, with more than mere suggestions of lime blossom and citrus rind.
They 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 solar-powered light-sail, sent on a reconnaissance mission to, well, check us out. But, withal, 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.
Pale, slightly lime-green color with great freshness and a rather bracing acidity and a strong element of “minerality.” Despite its Central Coastal California provenance, the wine really does strongly signify some Mediterranean antecedents - a suggestion of herbal underbrush, sunny, coastal, salt-kissed citrus. The crisp acidity of the wine along with the lemon/lime element, makes it the perfect refreshing accompaniment to any dish that itself would benefit from a slight spritz of citrus. Le Cigare Blanc remains a great vin de gastronomie, pairing well with lighter seafood, as well as serving as an exemplary apéritif.
The perfect refreshing accompaniment to any dish that itself would benefit from a slight spritz of citrus. Le Cigare Blanc remains a great vin de gastronomie, pairing well with lighter seafood, as well as serving as an exemplary apéritif.
Prawns à la plancha, oysters, crab cakes, stuffed piquillo peppers, day boat scallops persillade, brandade de morue, sole meunière.
"Very light in the glass, this blend of 46% Grenache Blanc, 34% Vermentino and 20% Clairette Blanche offers honeydew, lime pith, wet gravel and a hint of lanolin on the nose. The palate is full of flavors, offering sliced pear and lime peel set upon a delicate texture. - MATT KETTMANN"
- Wine Enthusiast (October 2020), 90 pts
Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare is made from 57% Grenache, 18% Grenache Blanc, 9% Mourvèdre, 6% Roussanne, 5% Carignane, 5% Cinsaut
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
This wine just begs for oysters or stone crab.
Corne Loup Lirac Blanc is made from 40% Grenache Blanc, 35% Viognier and 25% Marsanne
The wine boasts a light yellow and brilliant color, fine floral and fruity notes. It is fat, ample and powerful in the mouth with a lot of freshness.
Made from Grenache Blanc et Gris, Marsanne, Roussanne, Bourboulenc, Picardan, Picpoul, Clairette and Viognier)
Aged: 8 months in 50% stainless steel tanks and 50% in demi-muids (600L oak barrels)
The wine is then bottled without fining or filtering, allowing us to retain the natural and expressive character of the wine.
wine which is both beautifully rich and pleasingly elegant. It has rich ripe stone fruit in abundance with honeysuckle notes and an exceptionally mineral palate. An excellent full bodied Rhone style.
Mordoree Lirac Blanc Reine des Bois is made from Grapes : Grenache 35 % Clairette 25 % Viognier 10 % Roussanne 15 % Marsanne 10 % Picpoul 5%>
Color : green gold
Aromas : white fruits, peach, apricot, pear, violet.
Palate : rounded, long finish, highly flavoured.
Ageing Potential : 4-5 years.
Surface : 4 Ha. Yield : 35 Hl./Ha. Vineyard age : 30 years Terroir : Clay / chalk with pebble stones. Harvest : by hand Vinification : skin maceration and direct pressing with temperature control. Fermentation : oak barrel fermentation for 25% of the total volume
Pairs well with appetizers, fish, seafood.
"A mix of most of the permitted white varieties (mostly Clairette, Grenache Blanc and Roussanne), the 2019 Lirac La Reine Des Bois Blanc is thrilling stuff, and I’d certainly put it up with any of the top Châteauneuf du Pape whites out there. Light gold hued with a clean, classy bouquet of crushed citrus, spiced pear, white flowers, and honeyed minerality, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, beautifully integrated acidity, and a great, salty, lip-smacking finish. It’s well worth seeking out and is ideal for enjoying over the coming 2-4 years (although I suspect it will last even longer).”
- Jeb Dunnuck (October 2020), 94 pts
Philippe Milan Pommard AOC is 100% Pinot Noir
This wine has been aged in Oak (25% new Oak)
This is a little more structured and the style goes more toward the "vin de garde", or wines meant to age. This wine needs some food, or sometime in the decanter right now. It is well structured and reminds me of a Volnay. As a matter of fact, the parcel is located right next to Volnay. The finish is long and still quite juicy with chewy tannins lingering.
Schwarz Nitschke Block Shiraz is made from 100 percent Shiraz.
This Bethany vineyard was planted by Jason Schwarz's parents in 1968 and has been tended to by the hands of his family ever since. The vines are dry-grown and produce small crops of intensely flavored fruit.
A display of the purest blood-plum and black cherry, with cracked black peppercorn and streaky bacon over some seriously fine oak. Some subtle herbaceous qualities, nettle and thyme bring life to an otherwise immense nose. Very juicy on the palate, deeply flavorsome, long and with mouth-coating tannin for a very textured, very focused Barossa classic.
Slow cooked beef ribs, grilled meats, wild game and grilled vegetables.
"All the good stuff: dry-grown and fermented under the aegis of wild yeast; a smattering of whole-bunch seasoning (25%), French oak (20% new), conferring poise, freshness and authority. As far as Barossa shiraz goes, this is benchmark. Plush but nicely taut. A stream of boysenberry fruit and violet scents sashay to a samba of thyme, tapenade and smoked meats, nicely avoiding any sense of reduction, or clunky jam. This is smart. Very. - Ned Goodwin"
- Halliday Wine Companion (August 2020), 96 pts