Browse Tag

bonny doon

Roy Harper

Bonny Doon 2001 “Vin Gris de Cigare” (Earth) – Mostly grenache, with some mourvèdre, grenache blanc, and roussanne. Fruit-pop wine, bubblegummy and fun, with a rounded, polished, and highly marketable exterior. There’s lots of understated flash here, and while this does mean that there’s less substance than one might want, I don’t believe the wine is aiming for anything other than what it is. In which case it’s a success. (6/12)

My name is Gilroy

Bonny Doon 2009 “Clos de Gilroy” Grenache (Monterey County) – Simple-minded strawberry bubblegum, raspberry, and doofusberry. Yes, that’s a new fruit. Not heavy but still managing to show its alcohol. Quite drinkable with aggressively-flavored animal parts and a switched-off brain, but the least bit of thought or attention leads to unpleasant reactions. (6/10)

Heretics of Doon

Bonny Doon “Ca’ del Solo” 2008 Muscat (Monterey County) – Friendly and approachable, more in the fashion of an Alsatian or northeastern Italian muscat than something sweeter, with balanced perfume and a pretty finish. (4/09)

Chapterhouse Doon

Bonny Doon “Ca’ del Solo” 2008 Albariño (Monterey County) – Very light, yet a little sticky as well. Yellow-skinned fruit and light floral notes, not so much almond, and a crisp-creamy finish. More or less boring. (4/09)

Unidentified flying wine

[bottle]Bonny Doon 2004 “Le Cigare Volant” (California) – 38% grenache, 35% syrah, 12% mourvèdre, 8% carignan, 7% cinsault. Surprisingly Rhônish. Meat, underbrush, herbs, and sap. Juicy and approachable, but very well-knit. I like this a lot, less because the elements are superior than because the wine carries itself with palpable confidence. (9/08)


Bonny Doon 2004 Recioto of Barbera (Monterey County) – 14.5% alcohol, 7.2% grams residual sugar, 500 ml bottle. The nose here is lovely – full of crushed raisins – despite the bottle being open for twenty-four hours. This probably explains the bit of fade to the palate and a perimeter that’s more enticing than the center, but the wine retains a certain crispness and edge, with apple-toned acidity. More remarkably, this lacks the persistent (and to me, a sensitive, often deal-breaking) flaw of recioto-styled wines: volatile acidity. If there’s any here, it’s below my threshold of detection…and that threshold is legendarily low. Nicely done. (9/08)

And Clyde

[bottle]Bonny Doon 2006 “Le Cigare Blanc” (California) – 75% grenache blanc, 35% roussanne, from vineyards in Arroyo Seco. Stone fruit, sand, and spice…then intense apricot and blood orange with slightly less spice…then slight vegetation as the wine winds down. This sort of phase-shifting isn’t, I find, unusual with Rhônish whites that aren’t pushed to (or past) the limits of ripeness. All that said, the most appealing element of the wine is actually its gravelly texture. There’s enough acidity for balance, and great persistence, but I think this wine is not everything it could strive to be. (9/08)

Bonny Doon 2006 “Le Cigare Blanc” (California) – Honeydew melon, pear, spice, and tan earth rumbled with gravel. Warmth does not help the wine, though air seems to, so I’d suggest decanting and then the fridge. (9/08)


Bonny Doon “Ca’ del Solo” 2005 Sangiovese (San Benito County) – There are dollops of nero d’avola, cinsault, and colorino here. What do they add? I’m not sure. An intense nose of mixed jellies – plum, blueberry, blackberry – fades to simpler multi-hued cherries by the finish, there’s a tannic bite that grates with underripeness as the wine lingers, and a fairly significant amount of acidity adds to what eventually becomes a general and growing sensation of off-putting weediness. Eh. (9/08)

Have a Cigare

[bottle]Bonny Doon 2006 “Vin Gris de Cigare” (California) – A pinkish blend of grenache, cinsault, syrah, grenache blanc, and roussanne. Dried grapefruit and other citrus rinds, with some of them in candied form. Lavender, as well. Good weight and balance. Long. The wine turns more rind-dominated on the finish, but this is only to its benefit. Elegant and quite tasty. (9/08)

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