Grape Variety: 76% Grenache & 24% Mourvèdre
Appellation: Monterey County
Vinification: Bonny Doon Vineyard’s winemaking practice is exceptionally light-handed, with minimal intervention and manipulation. We created the 2015 Clos de Gilroy from hand-harvested grapes deriving from three Central Coast vineyards. The fruit was hand-sorted, gently destemmed, and cold soaked to enhance flavor and color extraction. The must was gently punched doon to gently enhance extraction and underwent somewhat extended maceration for greater integration.
Cellar Potential: Drink now-2021
Bonny Doon Clos de Gilroy 2016
Grenache is really the star of the show, and exhibits all the hallmarks of exceptional coolth—bright raspberries, red fruit, a strong suggestion of black pepper and mint, a whiff of dark earth, and a supple, lingering finish.
While Bonny Doon Vineyard began with the (in retrospect) foolish attempt to replicate Burgundy in California, Randall Grahm realized early on that he would have far more success creating more distinctive and original wines working with Rhône varieties in the Central Coast of California. The key learning here (achieved somewhat accidentally but fortuitously) was that in a warm, Mediterranean climate, it is usually blended wines that are most successful. In 1986 Bonny Doon Vineyard released the inaugural vintage (1984) of Le Cigare Volant, an homage to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and this continues as the winery’s flagship/starship brand.
Since then, Bonny Doon Vineyard has enjoyed a long history of innovation – the first to truly popularize Rhône grapes in California, to successfully work with cryo-extraction for sundry “Vins de Glacière, the first to utilize microbullage in California, the first to popularize screwcaps for premium wines, and, quite significantly, the first to embrace true transparency in labeling with its ingredient labeling initiative. The upside of all of this activity has brought an extraordinary amount of creativity and research to the California wine scene; the doon-side, as it were, was perhaps an ever so slight inability to focus, to settle doon, if you will, into a single, coherent direction.1