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2004 Bonny Doon Le Cigare Blanc

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Being a “glass is half full” kinda guy, I like to look at my “unsigned free agent” status as an opportunity, rather than a handicap. Why an opportunity? Because I am more or less obliged to focus on QPR wines to fit our budget, and there are always plenty of those available from a variety of sources.

I stopped by Western Market in Ferndale a few days ago and was intrigued by a stack of this wine at a price that was just too good to pass up. We’re fans of Bonny Doon Vineyard, and we very much liked the 2007 version, which was priced at $22. So why is the 2004 available for half the price? My buddy Jarred Gild, manager of Western’s wine department, wasn’t around to answer that question, but these are usually the result of distributor close-outs, sometimes in conjunction with the winery. Whatever the case, I had a good feeling about this one, so I grabbed a bottle, brought it home and liked what I found.

2004 Bonny Doon California Le Cigare Blanc, 73% Roussanne, 27% Grenache Blanc, 14.3% alc., $11.99: Medium straw color, with mineral and lanolin dominating the fairly rich, albeit bone dry, core of white tree fruit in both flavor and aroma, making for more than a fair New World approximation of a white Chateauneuf du Pape, which is, after all, Doon owner/winemaker Randall Gram’s intention. Full bodied without being heavy, with enough acids to work well with food and a reasonably long finish, I suspect that this would surprise a few people if included as a ringer of said Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc, although the slightly riper fruit might give it away. I wouldn’t flinch at paying the standard tariff, but at $11.99, this is a no-brainer!

I haven’t tasted everything that Bonny Doon has produced since Grahm downsized the operation in his quest to better make wines that express “terroir,” but everything I have tasted seems to achieve that goal and this is no exception. I like this one a lot, and I’m going back for more. Find this wine

Reporting from Day-twah,

geo t.

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