2003 Henri Bonneau Châteauneuf du Pape 'Cuvée Marie Beurrier'

Cuvée                                                                                                Price
2003 Henri Bonneau Châteauneuf du Pape 'Cuvée Marie Beurrier' $149.95
3 Pack Pricing ($133.33/btl; use code BMB03) $399.99

We're happy to offer the only US availability for this exceptional cuvee and at the lowest prices worldwide.

Henri made a later harvest than other vignerons (of course) who were going nuts about the heat, but he waited for full phenolic maturity. The result was absolutely stunning. There’s more fruit without being stewed or raisinated.  It feels somehow much lighter than his other cuvees from leaner vintages and has more beautiful red fruit quality than black fruit which is quite a surprise. Leather and tobacco, potpourri, dry flowers and gamey notes. Still so much primary fruit. -Daniel 

This carries nowhere near the bulk expected; in fact it is medium-bodied. Conventional thinking is that bottling early preserves freshness, but Bonneau's aging regimen somehow seems to slim down the wines in warm vintages. No Celestins in '03, so the gang is all here, so to speak. It is a synesthetic Châteauneuf - you see the southern Rhône when you smell this wine; the sere summer landscape, about-to-burst ripe fruit, sweet figs. With balsamic and sweet spices the wine is at a beautiful plateau of maturity, with expressive fruit still nicely reined in. - Jason

One of the pleasures of offering the wine of a legend is that you needn’t provide a comprehensive introduction. I expect you know of Henri Bonneau and that his passing in 2016 is an irreplaceable loss for Châteauneuf-du-Pape. If you are unfamiliar with his practices, he tended to harvest late, shunned destemming and avoided new oak. He had prime holdings in La Crau and north-east of Courthezon. He bemoaned the increasing encroachment of Syrah into the Southern Rhône and maintained a very high percentage of Grenache across all of his bottlings. 

Most relevant to our offer today, he habitually gave his wines a lengthy period to mature in his humid, biologically rich cellars. The long élevage he gave his wines was a true élevage, tasting and raising the wines over long years to become what he thought they ought to be. There is a normalizing tendency of time and air to soften certain wines and bring them into better balance. I don’t know how Bonneau made this most magical of 2003 Châteauneufs but I suspect his five decades of experience at the time and his assured patience played a great part.

It is fantastic when great wines show as you expect, and a tremendous disappointment when they show poorly. But when bottles truly surprise you and confound your expectations- as this one does- that is an especial joy.

Cheers,

- Spencer


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