Château Bonnet – 2017

Update 20.6.2019(12.2.2019)billn

Tasted in La Chapelle de Guinchay with Pierre-Yves Perrachon, pictured with son Julien, 11 February 2019.

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

Just Pierre-Yves today as Charlotte is a new mum – Alice!

Pierre-Yves on 2018:
With 2018 we have a vintage that is once more exceptional! It’s the first vintage here since 2011 where I would say we had a correct vintage volume – we are not at the top of the rendement – but we had hail and / or frost in the last vintages. There was sun, not too heavy storms – the maturity is there, of-course, but also a good acidity. The grapes were harvested with 12.6-13.5° – the young only know good degrees! – but they tend to prefer less alcohol – but you have to work with what you’ve got! Less direct heat as was seen in the 2017 harvest so was easier and more calm. Julien was back from Chile to help as Charlotte was not working all the hours.

“So plenty of structure but plenty of fruit to balance are my early thoughts.

Pierre-Yves on 2017:
2017 – hail again, in Moulin à Vent and Chénas – the first time in my years here that 2/3rd of the vines were hit by the hail. We produced just a little more wine than in 2016 and 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.

The wines…

All dark and deep wines – but all with their own characters. Always a reliable address.

2017 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. We don’t extract hard here, aiming for finesse.
A little tight on the nose, narrow but deep and still attractively fruited – even a graphite accent. Hmm – direct, deep, dark fruited here, good drive and line. A fine, mineral, style of St.Amour, mouth-watering and long.

2017 Julienas
Vines very close to those in St.Amour. Two sectors, Gonards is the main. About 50 year-old vines.
Hmm, deeper – dark fruit again. More textural depth, more overt concentration, wide – layered wine – such a concentration of flavour here – Oof – here is some wine! Maybe even better with a touch extra energy. But excellent stuff!

2017 Chénas Vieille-Vignes
Les Darrauds, Blémonts and Paquelets around the domaine.
Maybe the best balance of openness and depth of aroma from there three – swirling brings a beautiful bouquet of flowers too! Volume, great texture – layered fresh flavour – ooh that’s great! A touch of tannin at the end of the palate – slightly saline here too. I would say this is close to great – bravo!

2017 Moulin à Vent Vieilles-Vignes
Lots of small parcels so an assembly of Maison Neuve, Rouachaux, Brennay and Burdelines. Of-course there was hail, but had the chance to have a new parcel of 0.8 ha in Brennay to go with Burdelines that they already had. ‘There wasn’t a lot of fruit from the old proprietor, but the vines are in great shape – old but not too old!’
A nice width of saline-accented aroma – flowers too. Ooh – drive, freshness, depth of flavour, a touch of dryness from the tannin – great flavour complexity here – a wine to wait for – and you will have to – it won’t be bottled until June-July. Depth of flavour even the finish.

2017 Chénas Le Clos
Later bottling, made from vines around the château. In large format barrels – probably not for bottling before October 2019.
A big, high-toned, aromatically oaked wine – swirling reduces the oak quite significantly. In the mouth there’s lots of freshness and drive – a more perfumed fruit in the mouth. Really persistent – more than excellent for sure!

2017 Chat au Bonnet Blanc
About 50% barrel used in the elevage. Made in the last couple of years with recourse to bought yeast but not in 2017. Vines in the gravels, no limestone here.
Fresh – open, oaked but also saline and slightly floral. Hmm – wide, fresh, mineral and floral – more flowers than fruit. The minerality is not too rigorous – the oak is still quite forward – maybe it will be better for me in another year. But this is really excellent stuff!

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