Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Wine of the Week: 2015 Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare

It can be said that one of the most brilliant, complex, and unique winemaker/philosophers of our time is Bonny Doon’s Randall Grahm.  His stature, mind, words, and not to mention wine are absolutely captivating.  One is immediately drawn in to pay close attention to what this man has to say about viniculture, viticulture or anything really. His wines are as expressive, complex and interesting as he is.   I was fortunate enough to have been invited to a tasting by Trialto Qc in Montreal where we would explore the latest releases of Bonny Doon led by Grahm himself.  Of course I am very fond of all his wines, but consecutively year after year the Vin Gris kicks some serious butt and is always my favourite summer time ( Ok, ok…anytime ) rosé.  Personally, I have a lot of trouble with rosé ; trouble in the sense that I have found many bad examples that are too perfumed, too fruit forward that lack freshness or elegance.  (I keep exploring though, and should you have your suggestions, please send them along.)


The 2015 Vin Gris is absolutely pure and elegant, with awesome drinkability.  Its brilliance lies in what seems to be its simplicity - clean, light fruit flavours where one element does not overpower the next. An unexpected round palate with a thirst quenching, fine finish. Buy a case, buy two…..  You will pull this wine out for any occasion over the next year or so.  The 2015 Vin Gris Cigare will be available at the SAQ in April.  Keep an eye out….

                                    Photo Credit: Bonny Doon Vineyard

Made with 6 different grape varieties  from Altalona, Beeswax, and Delbarba Vineyards, after fermentation this wine underwent bâttonage, which gives this rose the interesting somewhat creamy texture.  Tiny, tiny bit of acidification, says Grahm…..tiny. 

Pale salmon in colour, this wine is a sight for sore eyes as it is a reminder that summer is just around the corner.  On the nose, there is a delicate mix of fresh strawberry, peach, chalk and cherry blossom.  On the palate, this dry rosé is amazingly fresh with excellent acidity and full mouth feel supported by balanced flavours of strawberry, raspberry, white flowers  and a touch of saltiness. The best vintage of Vin Gris I have ever tasted from Bonny Doon.  Overall, a very elegant rosé.  Drink now or in the next 2 years. 

Wine: Bonny Doon 2015 Vin Gris de Cigare
Grapes: 44% Grencahe, 20%Grenache Blanc , 12% Carignane, 11% Mourvèdre, 7% Cinault, 6% Rousanne
Price: $22.70*( Available April 2016)
Agent: Trialto Qc

I also had the opportunity to taste through some other wines of Bonny Doon, and one particular favourite is unfortunately not available in Quebec.  You can read my tasting note here:

2009 Le Cigare Volant Réserve en bonbonne

Deep purple in the glass, with pronounced aromas of blackberry, ripe cherry, warm spice and tertiary aromas of forest floor and mushrooms…. ( Kind of like a walk through a damp forest with the morning dew.).  The palate is generous, round, and layered with blackberries, dark plums, and loads of earth. The fresh acidity and medium grained tannin create a pleasing texture and will carry the wine along for years to come. The full and complex finish goes on and on for days. Truly an outstanding wine. Drink now or within 8-10 years.

Blend: 30% Syrah, 28% Grenache 22% Mouvèdre, 20% Cinsault.

Photo: Bonny Doon Vineyard


  1. Love the wines of Bonny Doon! Always enjoy reading up on Randall Grahm...what a memorable tasting experience. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Indeed!!! Thanks for your comment! :)