About Henri Bonneau
Born in 1938 and crafting the most extraordinary expressions of Châteauneuf-du-Pape well into his eighth decade, Henri Bonneau was a true legend in the Rhône. Considered by many to be the last of the “old guard”, Bonneau was as humble and true to his roots as his wines were transcendent and opulent.
A visit to his winery was far removed from the manicured lawns and elegant rose gardens of Bordeaux, but more akin to visiting namesake and fellow vinous legend Henri Jayer in Burgundy. Jeff Leve once joked that the most modern item owned by Bonneau was an Art Nouveau door to the entrance of his winery from the 1920s!
Consistently proving that sometimes, the old ways are the best, Bonneau produced some of the greatest wines ever seen in the Rhône during his tenure, chief amongst which is the otherworldly Réserve des Célestins 1990.
“One of the greatest wines ever produced ... anywhere ... is the 1990. Having consistently merited 100 points (if my scoring system went higher, it would be there)”
Robert M. Parker Jr.
The prestige cuvée of Henri Bonneau as well as its most famous, Réserve des Célestins is a blend of around 90% Grenache with a varying mélange of other Rhône varietals rounding out proceedings. Whole cluster fermentation is carried out in traditional concrete vats before the wine is aged for 3-5 years in old French foudres and barrels. Released in only the very best vintages, Bonneau used to adapt his vinification methodology in response to vintage conditions and fruit characteristics quite significantly vintage-to-vintage – each version of this wine is utterly unique.