Stephen Tanzer's


Why should you care? Randall Grahm’s Bonny Doon Vineyard is one of the grandes dames of the Cali-Rhône movement, and for my money Grahm’s most consistent wine over the years has been his pink Vin Gris de Cigare. Made from a blend of Rhône varieties (71% of the 2010 is grenache), it is a consistently excellent California take on the refreshing, dry Provence rosés loved by wine drinkers around the world. Grahm has been making this wine since 1984, back in the days when pink California wine meant the dreaded white zinfandel. That particular category was so uniformly bad that rosés as a group were uniformly rejected in the U.S., but Bonny Doon stuck with it. In the category of American rosé, this is the éminence grise, as pun-meister Grahm would likely say.

What does it taste like? Very pale pink in color, it offers an array of red berry, citrus and spice flavors, with a racy quality that makes it extremely flexible with food. Or serve it by itself. At 12.8% alcohol it’s very easy to drink. You’ll be shocked how quickly a bottle disappears, so don’t buy just one.

How much does it cost? $15 



May 30th, 2011 | one comment

One Response to “Bonny Doon 2010 Vin Gris de Cigare Central Coast”

  1. Thanks, Josh, for the lovely review. I am pretty crazy about this wine as well. I believe that wonderful things have happened in recent vintages by not trying quite so hard with this wine, at least in terms of stylistic imposition – skin contact to get the “correct” color and boost the aromatics, etc., cultured yeast, enzyme, etc. to get Special FX. In recent vintages, this has been a true vin gris, and not a rosé (as it has been in the past, its denomination not withstanding). By using bespoke grapes, i.e., those picked at the correct sugar and not the saignee of much riper grapes, and allowing indigenous yeast to do their thing, we have ended up with wines that were in the correct balance, i.e., didn’t need acidulation nor, um, dilution. (Ahem.) Less can truly be more, as I’m learning.

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