Winemaker Henri Bonneau

Here everything’s different: the domain, the family and the man. Some regard Mr Bonneau Bonneau as a living legend, others like a winemaker of genius, a character, a simple peasant or a “protector of the trade”-his own words. Remember,..
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Henri Bonneau
Vallée du Rhône
Châteauneuf du Pape
85% grenache, 15% autres obligatoire de l'AOC
6,5ha
15000
Showing 1 - 2 of 2 items
Our opinion on this winery

Here everything’s different: the domain, the family and the man. Some regard Mr Bonneau Bonneau as a living legend, others like a winemaker of genius, a character, a simple peasant or a “protector of the trade”-his own words. Remember, the man is the 12th generation of winemakers ! but everything’s a secret: nothing has leaked regarding their winemaking methods. If you’re lucky enough to go down into his cellar you’ll find yourself right in the middle of a labyrinth of salpetre, mould and dust-covered barrels, well the exact opposite of modern winemaking. The domain spreads over 6 hectares planted with 80% Grenache on the well-known plateau of Cruau which is probably the most beautiful terroir of pebbles. Old vines, very low yields from 10 to 15 hl per ha and late-harvested grapes. The fermentations are done in concrete thanks to wild yeasts, no temperature control, no sulphur, and can last for almost a year. At the end of fermentation, the wines go into Burgundy barrels, all aged more than 10 years old. Here ageing is almost a miracle since the wines will be matured from not less than 6 to 10 years until Sir Bonneau decides they ‘re ready for bottling. Nothing is written in advance.

It’s tasting off the barrels which makes Sir Bonneau decide the number of cuvees that will be produced. Winemaking is not done according to the terroir the grapes come from but rather in connection with the taste of the grapes. According to the vintages, the domaine can put a maximum of 4 wines for sale. In 2001 Henri and his son bought a few parcels of vineyard in the Gard and it’s the grapes of these parcels that are used for making “Les Roulliers” cuvee. This cuvee systematically falls into the Vin de Table category as Henri Bonneau wants to free himself from official requirements and do things his own way for instance by mixing vintages but above all his aim is to circumvent state regulations he is not exactly fond of. In the end, the wine is more simple but closer to the winemaker’s spirit. Henri has passed away in 2016. A great man of wine has disapeared but obvioulsly his work will be managed and continued as before...

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