Bonny Doon Vineyard Carignane Contra Costa County Ancient Vines 2009

Member Review by Robert Dallas Gray:

Deep ruby colour to this, with a slightly weird nose of bananas and acetone -- would almost make you think it were a gamay. In the mouth it's a bit out of balance -- tart but somehow unconvincing acid and odd, gritty tannins. There's a sweet edge (which I find in a lot of Californian warmer-climate wines) that just about topples the wine and makes it, in my view, very hard to match with food. It would need red meat to smooth the tannins, I think, but then what red meat would go with that weird banana aroma and tip-of-the-tongue sweetness? All in, a typically eccentric wine from Randall Grahm, but in this case, not such a successful experiment.

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Color: Red
Varietal: Carignan
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Bonny Doon Vineyard:
Based in Santa Cruz, the heartland of New Age thinking and dreaming, Bonny Doon Vineyard has a not so surprising history of idealism and innovation. Founded in 1983 by Randall Grahm, Bonny Doon is known for strikingly original wines made from “lesser” known grape varieties, the so-called vinous Ugly Ducklings. Originally focused on pinot noir, Bonny Doon Vineyard made its mark on the vinous wor... Read more
Based in Santa Cruz, the heartland of New Age thinking and dreaming, Bonny Doon Vineyard has a not so surprising history of idealism and innovation. Founded in 1983 by Randall Grahm, Bonny Doon is known for strikingly original wines made from “lesser” known grape varieties, the so-called vinous Ugly Ducklings. Originally focused on pinot noir, Bonny Doon Vineyard made its mark on the vinous world with its pioneering work with Rhône varieties and innovative production techniques. Since the adoption of Biodynamic® farming practices in 2004, Bonny Doon Vineyard wines evince a deeper sense of place, complexity, varietal expression and a noticeable sense of organization. We invite you to share in our most passionate and terrestrial expressions ~ the wines of Bonny Doon Vineyard. To all our Big House and Cardinal Zin Fans: In an effort to return to our roots and re-focus on the production of unique and distinctive, biodynamically produced wines truly expressive of place, President and Winemaker Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon Vineyard sold the rapidly growing BIG HOUSE and CARDINAL ZIN brands in July 2006 to the Wine Group, a management-owned wine company based in San Francisco. “I had been raving on long enough about the transcendental value of terroir; it was time to translate mere words into deeds. Today, the winery is much smaller, just 35,000 cases (and shrinking) we’re making fewer kinds of wine and we’re highly focused on making the most soulful wines we can possibly muster – wines of vibrant vitality, a deeper sense of place and life force.” Read less

Member Reviews for Bonny Doon Vineyard Carignane Contra Costa County Ancient Vines

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2.00 5
Vintage: 2004 06/09/2009

Deep ruby colour to this, with a slightly weird nose of bananas and acetone -- would almost make you think it were a gamay. In the mouth it's a bit out of balance -- tart but somehow unconvincing acid and odd, gritty tannins. There's a sweet edge (which I find in a lot of Californian warmer-climate wines) that just about topples the wine and makes it, in my view, very hard to match with food. It would need red meat to smooth the tannins, I think, but then what red meat would go with that weird banana aroma and tip-of-the-tongue sweetness? All in, a typically eccentric wine from Randall Grahm, but in this case, not such a successful experiment.

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