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Le Cigare Volant

Le Cigare Volant Wine Details

Description: We have noted previously that a Cigare dominated by grenache - the traditional varietal and moral center in neufs-du-Papes be they Chateau or Crypto - is a wholly different animal from one dominated by mourvedre or syrah and that is certainly the case here. Only in 1993, 1995 and 1999 has grenache contributed a similarly small percentage of the blend and these wines are indeed rogues of a sort - more broad and powerful than most of the garnachistas. We are currently pursuing numerous investigative avenues trying to tease out and retain a greater impression of minerality from the wines. In the cellar, this means we have probably spent enough time goofing around with various adjuncts, ameliorants and other hokum in a sincere attemp to roll the ultimate Cigare. Embracing a more Eastern - one might say Right Bank - sensibility, we are now directing more of our efforts where they more properly belong, in the bloody vineyards. So while the 2002 may be a larger, beefier number than some other vintages I could name, it is hardly a juced-up, mesomorphic golem conjured up in the top secret, "Oys Only" sectors of the cellar. The high percentages of mourvedre and syrah endow the wine with an evocative smoky, meaty, peppery core on which to rest its somewhat rotund boo-tay. It may be a hit too much to ask a wine knit together with grapes from numerous different vineyards to express terroir, but there is also an undeniable stony note that contibutes a metadimension of flavor. Fear not though, fruit lovers of America, the widely divergent spectrum of flavors is still topped off by licorice, black cherry,and an electric bolt of black currant.

Varietal Definition
Grenache Noir is the world’s most widely planted grape used to make red wine, sometimes made into a stand-alone varietal, frequently as a Rosé, but most often as a backbone of red blends. Its strength is its ability to grow in arid and windy conditions. It’s particularly suited to warm coastal regions of California, Spain and France. Grenache-based wines tend to be high in alcohol, with attractive fruit qualities in youth and a sweet berry character.Used as a component in some Northern Rhône reds, nearly exclusively for Rhône Rosés and as the primary component in nearly all Southern Rhône red blends, Grenache is probably most notable as the base varietal for Chateauneuf du Pape, Cotes du Rhône and Gigondas. In spite of its fame coming from French wines, Spain is most likely this grape’s origin.
As long as the weather is warm, Mourvedre ably tolerates a wide variety of soils. It is popular across the south of France, especially in Provence, where it is responsible for the greatness of Bandol, and many a fine red Cotes-du-Rhone. It is often blended in Chateauneuf-du-Pape; Languedoc makes it as a varietal. Spain uses it in many areas, including Valencia. In the United States, Mourvedre remains a minor factor for now, pursued by a few wineries that specialize in Rhone-style wines. The wine it produces can be quite pleasing, with medium weight, spicy cherry and berry flavors and moderate tannins. It ages well.
Syrah is the eight hundred pound gorilla of Rhone grapes! In the vineyard and the winery, Syrah is typically an easy grape to work with - healthy, early ripening, resistant to mildew and rot; suitable for winemaking in a variety of styles. The wines from Syrah are tannic without being harsh. The wines will have a taste and smell of dark blue fruit like blackberries and blackcurrant, with a strong spicy side where one can find freshly ground pepper and other spices. Syrah is famous for its part in the French blends, such as Côtes du Rhone and Châteauneuf du Pape.


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