Last night while hanging out at Main Street Wine Bar in Tiburon and sipping Champagne, the topic of my blog came up in conversation. If someone asks me what I do, wine-blogging is part of the answer.
When I started my blog in 2009, my premise could be easily summed up in a single sentence—review the experiences at various tasting rooms around the Napa Valley and attempt to visit all 450+ of them. I now blog about whatever wines please my palate, including current releases, dusty older bottles from my “cellar” (a fancy word for the storage unit at my sister’s place where I keep my overflow), and international selections that I come across in my pursuit of something worth savoring.
In describing my review-style last night, I mentioned that I don’t publish anything negative about a wine. My blog is a collection of recommendations and personal favorites. It’s not that I can’t write objective wine reviews, it’s that I don’t want to. To be honest, they can be a bore to read. I’m a storyteller who prefers happy endings. If you read about a wine on sipswirlsavor.com, it’s because I thoroughly enjoyed it and I hope you will too!
So, speaking of what I’ve enjoyed recently…
There has been a lot from Bonny Doon in my wineglass. With an appetizer of smoked salmon and avocado on toast last month, I enjoyed the brightness of the 2011 Le Cigare Blanc ($28/bottle). A blend of 62% Grenache Blanc and 38% Roussanne, this wine smells fresh with vivacious acidity, grassy notes, lemon curd, and a finish redolent with lime peel. It is very refreshing and would pair beautifully with fish, shrimp, or light salads.
With crispy pork cutlets, the 2010 Le Cigare Blanc Reserve ($50/bottle) was outstanding! This blend of 56% Roussanne and 44% Grenache Blanc reminds me of an opulent Chardonnay with a rich vanilla character and yellow apple and citrus flavors. A golden straw color in the glass, this wine is allowed to undergo malolactic fermentation. Full-bodied but decidedly balanced, this wine can hold up to heartier fare and anything creamy. Less than 500 cases produced!
A Rhone-style blend that changes vintage to vintage, the 2008 Le Cigare Volant ($38/bottle) is a delicious wine with bright raspberry notes and a white peppery finish. A week after enjoying the Blancs, this pretty ruby-colored wine was a smashing companion to rabbit, but you could also pair it with duck, roast turkey, or spicy sausage. A balanced blend of 45% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 13% Mourvèdre, 7% Cinsault, and 5% Carignane, this medium-bodied wine of about 3K cases has gentle tannins and lovely depth.
The 2008 Le Cigare Volant Reserve ($65/bottle) was a little too smoky for my preferences, but my dinner companions thoroughly enjoyed it. An empty bottle is always a good sign.
One of my favorite Bonny Doon wines is the Vin Gris deCigare ($16/bottle). This pale pink wine smells like wild strawberries and offers mouthwatering flavors of watermelon, strawberry, and citrus. With exciting acidity, this dry rosé is made with both red and white grapes, primarily Grenache and Grenache Blanc. This wine pairs significantly well with spicy foods like Mexican food. The screw-top closure is key for picnics and more!
The "Le Cigare" wines were received for review purposes. Please purchase yours from the Bonny Doon website. As always, I look forward to your thoughts. Please post comments on my Facebook page. Thank you and cheers!