As a long-time lover and collector of Cigare Volante, I am going to try and be as nice to this wine as I possibly can. I tasted the new label one other time–at Hospice Du Rhone in 2018. There, I noted it lighter and fruiter and less funky than the bottles in my cellar, and attached an asterisk of *user-friendliness* to the obvious transition. But, I am objective to a fault–ignoring branding, personalities, marketing and labels–what’s under the cork is all that matters, so I sully on, blindly. Light, transparent pink-purple. Ridiculous barnyard funk pours out of the glass, something I am quite excited to see and definitely missed in my last tasting with the new owners. It’s seriously poopy and dirty, an up-turning of moldy earth and swamp-moss and trodden bedding on par with some of South France’s most rustic of wines and beyond even Pinot comprehension. Roasted and black in bearing, it provides stark contrast to the effusive bubble-gum berry also in the nose. The combination thereof is not that of a brooding Rhone monster full of stony, peaty, ripe-fruit splendor, but rather suggesting a Sonoma Coast or Sierra Foothills *natural wine* thin, slightly-chilled summertime sipper made by one of the ‘cool kids’, and while enjoyable: lacks substance and integration.
It is impossible for me not to add here the price of this wine has dropped by nearly half. Full, on-release: retail. Not clearance or special. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, just file it away.
Also, the label sucks.
Thin and fruity in the mouth, a sharp pang of acid blasts early-middle, turning the watery fruit into pie-cherry abrasiveness and again: upping the stakes for this feeling like a hipster-offering where freshness and liveliness trump a core of solid fruit and classic structure. It literally feels like a Cinsault, a watery Counoise or an acidified Valdiguie. I’m going to have to check the cellar for the classic blend, and will learn the truth about this one at the end of this paragraph. I *guess* those are tannins? right? That horrible bitterness in the finish where the cloying Jolly-Rancher sweet tincture leaves off? This is a confusing wine, disjointed and elegantly condescending to the 1% palate. I want to taste this in 2 years.
2019 BONNY DOON ‘Le Cigare Volante’ GR/CIN/SY/PS 56/30/13/1 Central Coast 13.5