My copy of Been Doon So Long, winemaker Randall Grahm’s new book, arrived today personally inscribed and accompanied by 375-ml bottle of Le Cigare Volant, Bonny Doon’s “high-flying flagship” wine. I am almost frantic to start tearing through this beautiful, art-filled book. I don’t know much about it, so I included the jacket summary in case you were interested:
This eclectic collection at last brings to a wide audience the irreverent, zany voice of Randall Grahm, visionary California winemaker and founder of Bonny Doon Vineyard. An iconoclastic send-up of the wine industry and a celebration of unsung grape varieties, the book features, among other things, Grahm’s hilarious literary parodies—Joyce, Kafka, Pynchon, Salinger, and others—together with song lyrics, snarky satires, poems, lectures, and more. Subtle undertones of gravitas with faint suggestions of earnestness lie beneath the humor, however, as Grahm passionately addresses the state of wine today: Where in wine does “greatness” truly repose? How might true originality in New World wines be found? Do New World winemakers have the integrity and courage to unreservedly embrace terroir? This trove includes a very personal take on Dante’s Inferno (Grahm’s own vision of Wine Hell) and a collection of tunes from the rock opera “Born to Rhône.” Other pieces offer a fascinating glimpse into the history of the Rhône Ranger wine movement and of Bonny Doon itself, told through the story of its adventurous wine labels. Been Doon So Long is a highly entertaining journey to find the “truth of all things that may be found in the unlikely medium of a wineglass.”
In the coming weeks I will be back with my thoughts on the new book and its partner Rhône blend, Le Cigare, which has an interesting story of its own.
In 1954, the village council of Châteauneuf-du-Pape was quite perturbed and apprehensive that flying saucers or “flying cigars” might do damage to their vineyards were they to land therein. So, right-thinking men all, they passed an ordinance prohibiting the landing of flying saucers or flying cigars in their vineyards. (This ordinance has worked well in discouraging such landings.) Further, any flying saucers or flying cigars that did land were to be taken immediately to the pound.
No woofer this wine, we feel rather that it is quite a stellar accomplishment. The composition of our Flying Cigar is based on the traditional encépagement of Châteauneuf-du-Pape .