Henri Bonneau: Châteauneuf's Legendary Old Guard


Henri Bonneau: Châteauneuf's Legendary Old Guard

Cat Stephani |
What is the secret behind the mythical wines of the legendary Henri Bonneau? There is no secret. Or at least that is what the late, great, old-guard Artisan might have told you if pressed.

Crafting one of the most singular and sought-after expressions of Châteauneuf-du-Pape since 1957, Henri Bonneau possessed an innate understanding and capacity for winemaking, perhaps one best explained by the 12 generations of vignerons that came before him.

With a devoted command of grenache, only rivaled by the likes of his contemporary Jacques Reynaud of Chateau Rayas, Henri Bonneau’s masterful technique was one of simplicity and tradition. Low yields, late harvesting and no destemming were consistent themes, followed by a singular approach to élevage, in which a myriad of various old barrels patiently housed the aging cuvéesBonneau’s modest cellar was notorious for both its dimly lit charms and the veteran's simple resounding insistence -‘the wine is ready when it’s ready.’’

Our latest arrivals capture the wondrous mystique of Bonneau’s full range, from Vin de Table Les Rouliers to his rare and treasured Grand Cuvée Réserve des Celestins.

Usually a combination of two vintagesLes Rouliers is a fresh and complex blend of grenache and cinsault from a vineyard on the other side of the Rhône River in the Gard, worked by his son Marcel.

A step up from his traditional ChâteauneufCuvée Marie Beurrier is named after Henri’s wife’s aunt, an apparent superb cook, aptly titled considering the vigneron was well known for his love of good food. The extraordinary value these elegant black fruited beauties offer makes them all the more attractive.

Hailing from the revered lieu-dit of Le CrauBonneau’s top cuvée Réserve des Celestins exists in a class of its own, undoubtedly one of the finest of all Châteauneufs, though painfully scarce. An ethereal perfume of garrigue and kirsch unfurls from a rich, powerful core of silky fruit and savory nuance.

Discover the otherworldly beauty of Bonneau for yourself with our latest collection of these essential Rhône treasures!

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