Brett happens

All wine, most of the time

Two new arrivals…

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…at the SAQ.

Costières de Nîmes 2005, Lou Coucardié, Michel Gassier ($24.95, 11399766)
A white blend dominated by Roussanne, Grenache Blanc and Viognier. Fermented in 500-litre French oak barrels. Golden yellow. Wafting nose of sweet lemon, peach and spice with a floral note and a hint of alcohol (14% abv). Off-dry and rich yet surprisingly delicate. Savoury flavours reminiscent of dried herbs co-mingle with the expected white and yellow fruit. The undercurrent of acid surfaces on the finish. Lingering impression of dryness. A delight.

I first heard of this wine in a Chowhound post by the MWG’s namesake moh, whom it wowed as a pairing for the late Bouchonné’s gratin of Yukon Golds, boudin and tripe. Formerly available as a private import, it has just been listed – for the first time, I believe – by the SAQ.

Central Coast 2007, Le Cigare Volant, Bonny Doon ($46.75, 10253386)
Organically – and in some cases biodynamically – farmed Grenache (60%), Syrah (31%), Mourvèdre (5%) and Cinsault (4%).  Medium maroon with very slight fading at the rim. Scents of bramble, garrigue, pepper and wood. Medium-bodied and fluid. The ripe but not heavy fruit is brightened by good acidity, buttressed by fine tannins. The finish is tobacco-tinged, long and a bit drying. Tastes more Old Worldish than Californian. Not profound but pure, tasty and enjoyable. Clocks in at a reasonable 13.5% ABV, too.

In 2006, Randall Grahm sold or spun off Bonny Doon’s everyday labels (most notably Big House Red) to focus on his higher-end bottlings. This is the first red Cigare Volant I’ve tasted since the change and it seems a return to form after the disappointments of the late ’90s and early naughts.  Nominally an homage to Châteauneuf-du-Pape (which in the ’50s actually banned cigares volants – flying saucers – from landing in local vineyards), I’ve never found it to be a CDP ringer but rather a fine Rhône-inspired blend with its own personality.

Written by carswell

December 11, 2011 at 23:54

Posted in Tasting notes

Tagged with ,

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