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Cigare Blanc - Cloud of Ignorance Unveiled
Why I Love Cigare Blanc - by Randall Grahm
The winemaking got better - very careful pressing to avoid astringency - and the wines, whether by chance or design, received some good bottle ageing. And then suddenly I found that I no longer needed to shuffle my feet and vaguely apologize for the wine, but found that it was now blowing minds and thoroughly delighting palates. And most extraordinarily, it was selling, especially in fine dining restaurants with the capability of doing wine pairings. (I am told that white Rhônes in general as a category, are now seriously fashionable.) For Cigare Blanc is a gastronomic wine par excellence, a great foil to dishes with a little bit of fat - butter and cream sauces, even the generalized richness one finds in a lobster. There is a wonderful suggestion of autumnal fruit in Cigare Blanc - quince and perhaps Asian pear - the skin of the pear to be precise, possessing a most haunting fragrance. There is a lovely herbal, almost minty note - spearmint(?), a beautiful foil to the ripe succulent pome fruit aspect. I can't say that Cigare Blanc pairs with everything, but I did have it recently with sushi rolls served with fresh wasabi, and everyone at the table just went nuts with the felicity of the pairing. If you have the opportunity to find a bottle of Cigare Blanc with several years of age, you will be thrilled with its great complexity, and thankful for the cloud of ignorance that has surrounded this wine (and those of its ilk) for so many years.