We rediscovered Bonny Doon this September, when we had a long weekend in the area. They are refreshing for lots of reasons: they don’t take themselves too seriously, they make good wine that is good value for money, and they are embracing the screw top. Three for three!
The subtitle name of this wine is “Il Fiasco”, which captures some of my reaction when we cracked it open Friday night. But the best way I can capture my first impression of this wine is onomatopoetic:
What an incredible wine for 13 bucks. It’s a Sangiovese, but done in a new world, zinfandel style as befits its Monterey County origins. It’s not a soft, lush fruit bomb, though; it has a little resiny pineyness and a structure that makes it a more nuanced wine, in much the same way as a good zinfandel. As the blurb says on the Bonny Doon website:
Il Fiasco is not precisely sangiovese qua sangiovese but rather a thought experiment on how the virtues of Chianti manifest in Monterey County … With coming seasons, the evident, though now largely latent berry, floral and botanical notes should rise significantly to emerge in that sweet spot between “the International Style” fruit bombs and excessively brittle, tannic meanies. Look for blackberry, black cherry, tobacco leaf, juniper and a suggestion of the granite that stiffened the collective Medici spine.
I definitely got the black cherry, tobacco and granite, and I really appreciated that it had some dried currant undertones without having the dessicated, musty features of the “brittle, tannic meanies.” Instead of juniper I got eucalyptus, but it’s the same family … the wine had enough structure and acidity and fruit to be good both for sipping and with dinner (which on Friday night was a stuffed Chicago spinach, onion and pepperoni pizza).
It’s rare that I go back to the wine store the next day and get another bottle of the wine from the previous night, but that’s exactly what I did.
Yum. And the top of the screw cap has a cat’s head on it, which the KP Kitty appreciated.