A Full-Bodied Paean to Little Red Fruit

Dense ruby with purple highlights.  A substantial initial funk transitions to intense game packed with parched floral and licorice quite seamlessly.  Beautiful pure grape-juice high notes with brooding woodsy substance.

A huge fan of Le Cigare Volant–but not so much of the lesser bottlings–I have wanted to try this offering for some time.  It seemed almost weird this producer making a cab, but now drinking it, it seems perfectly fitting in the line-up.  Don’t go into this expecting a classic cab.  There are so many other nuances at play.  No indication of blend on the verbose label.  Fairly easy to see some of the components working towards the final product.  Hard to nail the bright fruit to either the cab or the Petite Sirah, and equally hard to peg the stiff, black structure and dark notes to either the Tannat or the Petit Verdot.  I am attributing the tarry leather aspects to the Syrah but again: being ‘California’, any or all of the components could contribute generous portions.

I am a little offended something labeled “Claret”–and the style of which being voraciously defended on said label–including Tannat, Syrah, OR Petite Sirah in the blend, but hey: it’s the final product he’s going for and it’s his bottle of wine.  This is a great little 15-dollar bottle of wine, just having trouble coupling its profile with anything resembling Claret.  The color is wrong, the bouquet is wrong, and the taste is wrong.  But again, he has fun with all his wines–and he is certainly having fun with this one.

In the mouth, fruit dark and punched up with pepper and original sin, moving on to something desperately trying to be acidicly church-proper but running from the cops in clouds of burning rubber and dust.  The whole thing ends on a deserted forest track, one headlight out, and a low fog coming in.  Pretty certain it’s wearing a habit.

2012 BONNY DOON A Proper Claret California 13.2


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