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Château Bonnet

DSC00313Tasted in La Chapelle de Guinchay with Pierre-Yves Perrachon, 19 May 2016.

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

Pierre-Yves Perrachon is one of the most recent presidents of the producers of the Cru Chénas.

The Château Bonnet in the lieu-dit of ‘les Paquelets,’ goes back to 1630 and the family Bonnets. The château stayed in the same family until it was bought by Pierre-Yves’ father, Pierre, in 1973. Pierre was from a family of Julienas vignerons. Pierre-Yves joined in 1986, taking on the whole domaine when Pierre retired in 2004. Pierre-Yves has two children – Charlotte, who has been working for the last two years at the domaine, and son, Julian, who is more interested in engineering at the moment. Charlotte was in the US when I visited.

The domaine covers 23 hectares; a dozen in Chénas, 3 in Moulin à Vent, 3 in Julienas, 3 in St.Amour, Beaujolais Villages Blanc and Rouge. There’s also a little cremant made from the blanc.

Cement is the mainstay for vinification, stainless-steel for the whites – “We have some foudres, but they are mainly for display! I mainly work with whole clusters, but some cuvées have a quantity of destemming – particularly if the berries are very small.

Pierre-Yves sells about 25% in bulk, the rest, about 60-80,000, is commercialised from here.

The wines…

A really good address. I love the Chénas here….

2014 St.Amour
Produced since 2006. Because of our geology we are looking for suppleness and elegance.
Really a rather modest nose to start with – it’s certainly not begging me to drink it. In the mouth this is rather nice – there’s perhaps a little much tannin for today but that will fade – but there are also layers of concentrated flavour. This is really a wine to wait for. Highly commended if only for that. En attend! Really great persistence… Slowly opening with a pretty red fruits – getting more and more interesting – a wine to decant and then really enjoy.

2014 Moulin à Vent
Really a perfumed and attractive nose. A nice intensity here – fresh in stance, perhaps a hint of oak below but it hardly distracts – layers of flavour and it gets wider in the finish too – a relatively ‘easy’ MAV but really a tasty one!

2014 Chénas
An assembly of 3 terroirs on granite and gravels – no wood in elevage.
A beautiful nose – super-inviting – a blend of fruit and flowers, this is really a head-turner. Direct, fresh, sweet fruited, lots of energy lots of complexity, a faint base of tannin, but really excellent – bravo!
2014 Julienas
This is also a really lovely nose – just a little behind the Chénas in the head-turning stakes, but that’s no negative. Fine intensity – really just a touch of bitter at the end of the tongue – but this really a wine that built for its intensity. Wow. A laser line of flavour that disappears into the horizon of the finish – really super!

2011 Chénas Confidence de l’échevin
Made from the grapes of 110-120 year old vines!
The nose is deep and shows plenty of oak. In the mouth this is wide and complex, really lots of interest here – too much vanilla for my taste, but the complexity and width are really special. The finish too!

2011 Chénas 1047
This has seen 3 years of elevage in barrel, none new. Old vines from 3 parcels. Not made every year…
For me this still has too much vanilla but there’s a fresher complexity to the nose. Fuller, silky wine, really a floral fruit on the palate still some vanilla but it’s more supporting than dominating. A finely grained tannin slowly raises from the depths. But this is excellent – I would certainly wait a number of years for it…

2014 Beaujolais Villages Blanc
Quite a nice floral width on the nose. Nice floral fruit on the palate too – a really tasty wine, I’m surprised, and there’s a nice minerality that’s not austere either. I can really say that this isn’t bad!

2014 Beaujolais Villages Blanc Eleve en fût de Chenes
Seemingly a fresh nose here, though underpinned with plenty of vanilla. Really more freshness, and vivacity. Certainly more direct and rather mineral, but the oak flavour -vanilla- is too much for me… The end of the finish is sweetly mouth-watering and really quite the nicest part. Without the vanilla this is really the best white I’ve tasted in Beaujolais!

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