Freshly arrived in New York City, I asked to the grand Randall Grahm
(from Bonny Doon Vineyard) where to drink my first American Wine glass. You easily understand that it couldn’t be a fail and so did Randall.
Well not exactly, cause next to Terroir is Hearth, a chic and trendy restaurant: open kitchen romantic air and cozy atmosphere – where I was redirected to meet Paul, the owner of both places. The name Hearth says it all, a mixed between Heart and Earth, which I didn’t know also means “the floor of a fireplace”.
The wine list is famous for its Riesling but also features the most popular of Bonny Doon Vineyard: LE CIGARE VOLANT. One I loved before drinking, and if you haven’t heard of Randall Graham yet, check his website and you’ll understand why!
No question then. Out of this hundreds of references, the choice was immediate. I was going to have a glass of 2005 Le Cigare Volant as a starter. The tasting glass was more than reasonable size and the quality of the glass in which this elixir was poured into made it perfect.
Le Cigare Volant is a red wine from the Central Coast, Rhone Style (50% Grenache and the rest Mourvedre, Syrah, Carignan, and Cinsault): very unusual for the region! It also has a perfect balance of oak, mainly French. Smell it and you entered a forest with all the earth smells wild black fruits, taste it and you find yourself crushing those same fruits. Well structured and fresh, it drinks well, it also stays long enough on your palate to leave your smile on and let you wish for more. Congratulation to Randall! Un vrai vin de plaisir!
Paul was busy but found time to let me know how much he also loved Beaujolais. Reading the many articles on the wine list quickly makes you understand that Paul is a passionate Epicurean that writes with poetry and spirit. Paul’s lines on Beaujolais are fantastic and I only wish I had the space to put them here. You can have an extract:
“Yes, we know, we know, the Nouveau debacle has tainted everyone’s opinion about what Beaujolais can truly be. And actually is if you search beyond those flowery labels. There is a lot of simple, eminently quaffable stuff out there” (…) “Lest anyone forget, the Beaujolais region is administratively part of Burgundy. We can thank Philip the Bold for the vinous separation of the 2 areas when he deemed that the Gamay grape be banned from the limestone hills of the Côte D’Or. “(…) “Beaujolais is not meant to be a great wine. It is meant to be a good wine. Happiness can be a very uncomplicated thing.
Thank You for this first American sip. A success.
And if not like me, you are not obsessed with American Beverages unless it is Coca Cola, go to Terroir for a good Beaujolais, it is a right pick!