Domaine Henri Bonneau - Summit of Châteauneuf du Pape
"Henri Bonneau (born 1938) is 12th generation of wine growers. He made his first vintage in 1956. His domain covers only 6 ha., mainly planted with Grenache that normally counts for more than 90% of the blend and added with small amounts of Mourvedre, Counoise and Vaccarèse.
Bonneau's wines are among the most famous and the most expensive in the world and even if you are ready to spend the money they are not easy to get hands on. You might think that he must be a wealthy man. If he is you can't see it from his appearence or from his home or cellars. He seems to be a very modest and simple living man.
Henri Bonneau's ageing cellars is from the 17th century and are legendary. You can't find a barrel there less than 10 years old and most of them are very ancient. When you walk around there you fell you are visiting a museum.
If you have the privilege to taste the wines from the barrels you will find them absolutely wonderful and you must admit that you are visiting a master of winemaking. You don't have to be an expert in winetasting to conclude this. Some people prefer an elegant wine, others prefer a wine with much character. Some prefer a young wine, some prefer an old wine. People have very different preferences. No doubt that all kind of preferences will be satisfied tasting Henri Bonneau's wines. And - and that's important - all vintages, young and older, taste very very good."
(Vintage and Vine)
Words of Wisdom
"His top cuvee, the reserve des Celestins is majestic. His other cuvee, Marie Beurrier, is nearly as good but significantly less expensive."
Parkers Wine Buyers Guide
“Henri Bonneau sits at the summit, a beacon of brilliant terroir and impeccable winemaking!”
"From a blend of 90% Grenache and 10% Mourvedre as well as small portions of Syrah, Counoise, Vaccarese. The grapes are not destemmed, except in moderate or unripe vintages. Vinification takes place in traditional, concrete tanks. The wine is aged in a combination of old foudres and old as well as older French oak barrels for between 3 to 5 years. Every vintage is different and unique." (The Wine Cellar Insider)
“A decidedly deeper and more powerful wine than his regular Châteauneuf du Pape, and plays the role of La Tâche in the Bonneau cellars to his Réserve des Célestins’ Romanée-Conti (of course within the strapping and powerful idiom of Châteauneuf). To my palate this is the most classic expression of Châteauneuf du Pape magic in the Bonneau cellars.” (John Gilman)
“His greatest wine, and unequivocally the single greatest wine made in Châteauneuf du Pape today. " (John Gilman)
"The Speciale is not produced in most vintages. It is a very ripe, port like wine that is not for everyone. The decision as to what barrels end up in which wines is made shortly before bottling. The choice is made based on quality. So far, Henri Bonneau Cuvee Speciale has only been produced in 1990 and 1998." (The Wine Cellar Insider)
Vin de France Made from a vineyard worked by his son Marcel in the Gard (west of Chateauneuf on the western side of the Rhone River) and sometimes contains declassified Châteauneuf from his own vineyards. Has all the hallmarks of great Châteauneuf with astonishing freshness, depth and complexity with a floral spice lift that belies its age. This is a wine that most Chateauneuf producers would be happy to call their “regular” Chateauneuf, however this is anything but “regular”. (Vintage and Vine)
(750ml / magnum)