I don't drink a lot of Rhone wines. It's not because I don't like them -- I do actually -- but it's just not a region that is well represented in my cellar or in any of my local shops.
Some of the best Rhone wines I've had have been because friends have opened them in my presence or given me a bottle to take home. Honestly, it's a region I'd like to explore more (especially Northern Rhone) but I just haven't yet.
Anyway, I was excited when this month's WBW host, my friend and long-time blogging colleague Tim Elliott of Winecast mentioned Rhone as his theme idea -- and then he twisted it up a bit. Rhone but not from the Rhone.
If I don't have a lot of actual Rhone wines in my cellar, I have even fewer wines down there that fit Tim's theme... except for this Bonny Doon Vineyards 2005 Cigare Volant, which -- in the tradition of CdP -- is made with 50% grenache, 24% mourvèdre, 22% syrah, 3% carignane, 1% cinsault.
I cracked this open (yes, it's closed under screwcap) on Tuesday night and have enjoyed a class the last three nights.
Right out of the bottle, it was tight -- not giving up much beyond some red cherry and subtle earthiness. But, with some time in the glass, it really started to unfurl, bringing some subtly barnyard-y notes along with intense spice and dried herb qualities.
Medium bodied and with still-fresh acidity, the palate -- especially with some air time -- was both balanced and complex, delivering a delicious melange of fruit, spice and funky earthiness. The finish is long and fresh, with somewhat surprising acidity. Some hate "food friendly" as a descriptor, but this begs for food.
I wish I had more in my cellar.
Thanks for hosting, Tim.