Henri Bonneau's stuff is most certainly in a class of its own - utterly unique, and could only be made by a particular kind of person – one who is not prepared to compromise. In fact, in 1987, 1991, 1993 and 2002, no wine was made at all. His best cuvee, the Reserve des Celestins, is made primarily from Grenache (much like the legendary Ch Rayas), and the vast majority of his holdings are in the La Crau sector of Chateauneuf – the best sector.
Any visit to Bonneau's cellar is fraught with danger – an archaeological dig for Roman ruins under the floor has left several large black holes about 20 feet deep which must be carefully crossed on wooden planks! However the wines produced from this cave are extraordinarily complex, powerful, and almost immortal, and any visit to see Henri Bonneau is one of life's more memorable encounters.
This is how Chateauneuf du Pape used to be made and is unquestionably a wine that can compete with the very best in the world. Sadly production is only 1,500 cases a year, over half of which goes to the US.
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