Château Bonnet – 2016


Tasted in La Chapelle de Guinchay with Charlotte and Pierre-Yves Perrachon, 20 February 2018.

Château Bonnet – EARL Vins Pierre-Yves Perrachon
71570 La Chapelle de Guinchay
Tel: +33 3 85 36 70 41

Charlotte and Pierre-Yves on 2017:
2017 – hail again, in Moulin à Vent and Chénas – the first time in my years here that 2/3rds of the vines were hit by the hail. Still it’s a good vintage with plenty of structure that might rival 2015. Tannins just a little more supple than in 2015 are possible, but we are anyway moving more in the direction of softer extractions that Charlotte is doing. Much less than half a harvest here and it was an accumulation of factors – the frost in our whites – which we didn’t really see at the time – then there was also the dryness that further reduced the amount of juice. So we produced 25 hl/ha in 2017, versus 30 hl/ha in 2016.

Charlotte and Pierre-Yves on 2016:
We did more destemming, partially as a function of the hail, but also moving in that direction with a grill for the first days of fermentation but there’s also a new system of pigeage – this has shown rounder tannins than in previous years, so we are very happy with that. The Spring was pretty catastrophic, it was really August and September that saved the vintage so we had good grapes with good maturity. Of-course there’s not the structure, colour or richness of 2015, but I’d say that the wines are more in a classic style. In some areas we lost 40% or more. Our Beaujolais Villages was actually the most touched by hail.

The wines…

Again a very high standard in 2016. In addition the general excellence of the wines, what I particularly like about this domaine is that it isn’t always the wine which stands out.

2016 Chat au Bonnet Rouge
Vines in La Chapelle of about 30-40 years old. Shortest cuvaison for a red – for drinking and enjoying young – and of-course to go with the name, a cartoon of cat on the label.
An appealing freshness of darker-red fruit. Round, easy but delicious layers of open, mouth-watering fruit. A hint of tannin in the mix. It does exactly what they want it to – yum!

2016 St.Amour
Produced since 2006. Because of our geology we are looking for suppleness and elegance. Vines on the hillside next to Julienas, quite high altitude. 2.65 ha in Bousset lieu dit top left. All tank, not all whole cluster, from majority old vines with small grapes. Extract a little less vs a Chénas for example. Never a full yield here.
Hmm, that’s a lovely complex nose – fresh and with really an inviting character. Round, easy but really delicious – not really much in the way of structure but supple delicious fruit of good concentration. Fine finishing complexity – easy but completely delicious wine.

2016 Chénas Vieille-Vignes
An assembly of 4 terroirs on granite and gravels – a little part of this – 10% – with barrel elevage. 10 hectares here, so the biggest cuvée of the domaine, much from around the château. A little longer cuvaison, macerations of up to 20 days. In bottle 4-5 months.
Deep, perhaps a tiny reduction, a growing floral component. Wide, really a beautiful mouth-watering floral component to the fruit. This has fine structure and good clarity – more complex and a little saline finish. This is excellent!

2016 Chénas Le Clos
Later bottling, made from vines around the château. Normally commercialized a little later.
This is directly open and full of violet flowers – lovely. On the palate there’s a small edge from dissolved gas which accentuates the tannin a little – but there is anyway more. Really wide, and for keeping a little longer – but clearly excellent again! Such a lovely intensity in the finish.

2016 Julienas
2.5 hectares of vines. This an assembly of Bucherat, Croix Rouge, Bessay, en Rizière – mainly from the bottom of the appellation.
The most open and vibrant nose – wide, practically menthol – I see a very Chambolle style of fruit. More gamay in the mouth, a little padded, depth of flavour but really delicious fruit. There is a little structural rigour here that you could choose to disregard, but you should wait a little while. But this is bravo wine!

2016 Moulin à Vent Vieilles-Vignes
Maybe less yield in 2016 than 2017. Lots of small parcels so an assembly of Maison Neuve, Rouachaux, Brennay and Burdelines.
Tighter but it’s still a deep nose with darker red fruit. Round really super balance of concentration and freshness. This wine has a lovely energy, though is less open than the Julienas today.

2016 Moulin à Vent Vin de Garde
One month in barrel then in tank for another year – this may not be commercialised until 2019. Similar to the last wine with some older vines from Romaneche and a slightly different elevage.
Pow – a nose like the Julienas – open, impact and absolutely gorgeous. Rounder and silkier. Lots of sweetness – certainly some from the oak – but no overt coconut or vanilla here – plenty of black cherry though. This is excellent, layered wine, if less overtly fresh than the Julienas. Great wine – and you will have to wait is it’s not yet commercialised!

2016 Chénas Confience Echevin
Echevin was the original owner of the Château. A wine made since 2000 – like the last you will have to wait for commercialization. Not made in 2012 or 2014.
Directly the oak is present but more creamy than vanilla – here it’s mixed with floral and cherry-fruit notes. Hmm – this has a fresh and structural feel to it – I directly like it. The tannin has a little grab but virtually no grain. Wide, growing in minerality as the fruit fades. Really a width of long finishing flavour. For drinking in at least a couple of years.

Les Blancs:
No frost in these vines in 2016, but some in 2017…

2016 Chat au Bonnet Blanc
All in stainless steel, fermented at about 15°C for the fruit.
Bright fresh and inviting, almost a sweet mirabelle in the freshness. Direct, again mouth-watering freshness, more salinity coming to the fore. A good weight of finishing flavour too. This is really a very tasty wine – yum!

2016 Beaujolais Villages Blanc
Same as the last but with an elevage with more barrels. Bright pure, fresh nose, almost a hint of pineapple. Hmm, good width, good mouth-watering flavour. More mineral in the finish and seemingly longer – also really yum!

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