Bonny Doon 2012 Le Cigare Blanc “Beeswax Vineyard”

48% Grenache Blanc, 44% Roussanne, 8% Picpoul Blanc; 13% ABV
Arroyo Seco AVA, CA
$9 at the Richmond, CA, store on 15 Feb

BonnyDoon_2012_LeCigareBlancThis wine didn’t show very well at first pour, seeming rather bland.  But a few minutes later, it started to open up, showing rich but delicate and elegant flavors of yellow flowers, honey, and, yes, beeswax.  This was counterpointed by some fresh herbs like oregano, maybe thyme, perhaps a little white pepper.  I liked it very much.

The next day, the flavors had only ripened and intensified, perhaps becoming less elegant, but still delicious.

On the third day, the flavors had started to get a little oxidized, but were still very good.  I liked this wine a lot and got a couple more bottles in the hope that I can stay away from them for a few years and see how they develop.

Advertisements

22 thoughts on “Bonny Doon 2012 Le Cigare Blanc “Beeswax Vineyard”

  1. philip frey

    I love 2011 Le Cigare Blanc and agree with the positive comments above. It is waxy smooth in the mouth with a huge herbal and floral bouquet. The one strong warning or recommendation I have to add to the conversation is not to refrigerate. Serve and keep open at around 50 degrees. I opened one bottle from my cellar and the first glass was wonderful. I refrigerated for the next day, and all the nose was gone. I have had two more bottles (with friends and alone) and it keeps at cool room temperature up to 3 days tasting great. My patience didn’t last longer than that. Definitely think of it for food pairings as a rich chardonnay or riesling, not a SB or Pinot Grigio. I used the sale to stock up from the Marina store.

    Reply
    1. Darrell

      Phil, I agree with you about the serving temperature of this wine. If you notice below, my glass sat at room temperature with just the residue of the wine and the aromas didn’t change and lasted. I think when you said the nose was gone, you really meant the wine was too cold to get the aromas to vaporize. It’s great you found some in Marina since I have been monitoring the local Bay Area GO’s supplies and inventory for this Spring sale and it disappeared or there were a couple of bottles or less than a case left at most of the stores. Some of these stores began with case stacks. For the first day of the sale, I had to range further than usual to find case quantities, not that I wanted that quantity.

      Reply
  2. Expat

    I finallly tried this. LIke I remembered, Roussane is definitely not a grape I care for in general but a really nice wine nevertheless. I was first hit with a heady, floral aroma and it was almost creamy in the mouth. It had the sub-acid fruit profile and I braced myself for a sickening, sweet finish that thankfully never came. It was very different and even elegant. I like a snappy Sauv Blanc or Pinot Grigio more in general but this was a great change of pace. It’s like baseball – by far my favorite sport but I completely enjoy watching Golden State display their mastery on the basketball court.

    Reply
  3. DavidLikesWine

    Day 4 of this wine being open, and it was much more to my liking today. The acidity had emerged a bit more and the dill-ish / tarragon-ish slightly sweet yet herbal finish that I found not to my taste had integrated nicely. I’ll be keeping my second bottle 🙂

    Reply
  4. Expat

    This discussion has really piqued my curiosity about this wine and Roussannes in general. I may have to try this just for academic reasons.

    Reply
    1. Darrell

      I,too, in the interest of wine academe decided to not too critically evaluate this wine over a wild Agaricus, puff ball and bacon breakfast omelette. I agree with SB about the Hermitage blanc style, but not sure about the usual SB acid level as I thought he’d say otherwise. The wine seems less acidic than other wines due to, I think, a sur lies fermentation and aging. My first descriptor to the mouth feel is creaminess which is close to syrupy and waxiness. The nose suggests a not too cold fermentation since there isn’t much estery, floral aromas. The most it suggests to me is buttery pineapple w/ a little wood. There’s more there that I just can’t find the descriptors for. Going to have to start smelling beeswax. The only gripe I have is the bitterness in the aftertaste. Will have to compare and contrast against the 2012 Clayhouse Vineyard Grenache Blanc Casa de Arcilla especially with the price difference.

      Reply
      1. Darrell

        The empty glass sat awhile after breakfast and kept filling the air with the same aromas that was had with the meal. So quite a lengthy, aromatic nose that that wasn’t indicated while having food. Usually the empty glass smells change on sitting.

        Reply
  5. JoelA

    I like Roussane very much but most California ones don’t cut the mustard on flavor – except for the recently purchased David Girard one. If you can still find that at a GO, try it.

    Reply
  6. DavidLikesWine

    Expat, I read your comment on Roussanne and thought “that’s exactly what I just experienced.” I love white Rhone blends, but the glass I had tonight (first day open) over the 45 minutes or hour it was out never developed the acidity I was hoping for to balance the richness. It’s delicious, but if you’re a pinot grigio or sauv blanc fan, I’m not sure this will be to your taste. Hoping day 2 brings a bit more structure out. Love this producer and really want to like this wine.

    Reply
  7. Expat

    I fondled this today at the SLO GO because I love the producer, but didn’t pull the trigger. I was a little wary because whenever I see Roussanne I think it will be syrupy with a heady aroma that’s a bit much for me. How would you say this is for someone who likes Italian pinot grigios and sauvignon blancs?

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi Expat, and thanks for asking. I’d say that this is definitely not a crisp wine like Italian PGs or SBs, but while it’s rich and full-bodied, it’s not syrupy, either. I’m guessing you’d find this a good wine, but not what you generally prefer.

      Reply
    2. lim13

      My experience with most Rousannes over the years has been flabby more than “syrupy”…never enough acidity. But I did have a couple of very nice ones with good acidity two years ago at a tasting for the Seattle Times…Barnard Griffin Columbia Valley to name my favorite. I’d like to find this one up here because it’s less than half the price of other such domestic blends.

      Reply
    3. Darrell

      Expat, your impression of Roussane from the Rhone is quite apt and I have a feeling you don’t or wouldn’t like a “Vieilles Vignes” Roussanne Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc. It took some adjustment and revision of my opinion of Rhone Roussane after first tasting a bottle. Most of my experience with the Northern Rhone whites are mostly a blend of Roussane and Marsanne and am not familiar Grenache Blanc as a varietal of which this wine has a high proportion. These Northern wines, too, aren’t crispy and high in acid as our American Rhone whites and in fact one grower places a label that says ” Dessert wine” since they are high in alcohol and rich with no noticeable sugar. Lim’s description of “flabby” is apt also and all of us just have to be familiar with the expression a winery is trying to make with their Rhone varietals, a higher acid,lower alcohol rendition or one that tries to emulate French Rhone whites.

      Read the Arroyo Seco AVA link and must admit it is a lot B-essy in the statement “The area is known for its gravelly soil that absorbs heat during the day and radiates that heat in the evening.”
      Have had to travel through this AVA in pursuit of Bandtail pigeons before there were many vineyards and there’s nary a cobble or much gravel since the greater part of the AVA is mostly fine alluvium from the Arroyo Seco River on the Salinas Valley floor.

      Reply
      1. lim13

        Yo Darrell: want some band-tailed pigeons? Stop by our place next time your up this way. They flock to our feeders every summer. We have one particular tree that produces berries they love. But ya’ gotta’ leave your gun at home! : ~)

        Reply
        1. Darrell

          Lim, I now reside on a ridge in Marin County, quite fur apiece from Monterey County, and recently saw a band of bandtails fly over, speedily sailing with the wind. Must lead them more than other birds they fly so fast. They reside your way in the Summer and migrate our way and Mexico in late Fall and Winter. Don’t know what your pigeons eat, but when they come down our way they eat acorns which make them taste bitter. The gizzard is inedible it’s so bitter. The squabs are great due to tenderness. What berry bearing tree do they love? My choice for these birds would be a Chalone PN, just across the valley.

          Reply
          1. lim13

            My wife’s been a Master Gardener for years, Darrell and we still aren’t sure what the tree is. We’re on two and a half acres and it’s about 40′-50′ tall and is full of berries in late spring/early summer…and smells delightfully sweet like grape bubble gum…especially on breezy days. That’s when it’s full of Band-Tailed Pigeons. We thought it was a Mountain Ash, but they don’t seem to be fragrant (from what we’ve read). Thought maybe a Texas Mountain Laurel too, but they don’t seem to get that big…and apparently have no berries. Need to get our local tree expert out here. Guess I’ll have to crack a bottle of wine and think this one through.

            Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s