• Country ranking ?

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  • Decanting time

  • When to drink

    now to 2035
  • Food Pairing

    roasted lamb

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The Story

This bottling Le Cigare Volant is identical to our normale, but, owing to its unorthodox élevage, quite different in its presentation. After a short tenure in barrel, assemblage, and completion of malolactic fermentation, the wine was removed to 5-gallon glass carboys (bonbonnes), where it reposed sur liefor 23 months. This yielded a rare degree of integration and complexity, plus a preternatural degree of savoriness. Our Flying Cigar is based on the traditional Southern Rhône style encépagement.

Winemaking, like life, is a bit of a dream. One imagined (some years ago) that one might produce a sort of hommage to Châneauneuf-du-Pape, a Rhônish-style blend in California, and somehow, miraculously, the wine materialized in this terrestrial sphere; it has been, in balance, a more or less viable, ongoing proposition. Over the years, I’ve had my ups and doons with the southern Rhône’s most well known appellation. In general, I’ve not been so crazy about its escalating levels of over-extraction and ripeness, seemingly in commercial call and response to its most avid Marylandian partisan. With the exception of the redoubtable Château Rayas, I find that I can, at this juncture, largely take or leave C-du-P. But, possibly more to the point, I’ve come to realize that everything in my winemaking world has really been a displacement of my deep, secret desire to produce pinot noir, or more accurately, red Burgundy.1

The idea of “raising” the wine in glass demijohns was also a bit of a fever dream, occasioned in part by the many hours I spent in deep contemplation of the mysteries of redox chemistry; there was something dream-like (à la Carlos Castaneda and Don Juan) about the many hours driving around southern France with Patrick Ducournau,deep thinker about oxygen and wine.I’ve already written quite a bit about the nature of the esoteric élevage en bonbonnebâtonage magnetique, etc., the opportunity for the wine to digest a substantial volume of yeast lees, and the extraordinary texture and savoriness this protocol engenders.


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Santa Cruz, California
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