2011 Henri Bonneau Châteauneuf du Pape 'Réserve des Célestins'

Cuvée                                                                                                Price
2011 Henri Bonneau Châteauneuf du Pape 'Réserve des Célestins' $339.95
3 Pack Pricing ($299.99/btl; use code CELESTINS) $899.97

The Réserve des Célestins, which hails from the famous plateau of le Cras is a darkly-fruited, wild wine that marries the generous dimensions not unusual in this appellation with an ineffable balance that is so much more rare, and which often attains the completeness that is the hallmark of the world’s grand crus. - William Kelley

Bright ruby-red. Far more expressive than the Marie Beurrier, displaying a wild array of candied red fruits, flowers and Asian spices, along with an intense mineral overtone. Silky, sweet and pure on the palate, offering intense raspberry preserve and spicecake flavors and a jolt of lavender pastille. Closes long and sweet, with building spiciness and smooth, harmonious tannins that sneak up late. - Josh Raynolds, Vinous

We’ve offered the wines of Henri Bonneau before but have not yet had occasion to feature the star in his firmament, the Réserve des Célestins. The 2011 is an excellent presentation of the Bonneau style and one of the very last to get the master’s touch in its entirety before his passing. The 2011 Celestins spent 5 years in barrel, a typical example of the longer elevage that Bonneau practiced and which is unusual amongst his would-be peers in the appellation. The fruit issues principally from Bonneau’s prime holdings in the famed La Crau subzone of the appellation. The 2011 is a less extravagant and solar vintage in the Southern Rhône than is the new norm today- while Bonneau was a master of preserving freshness in even the most opulent of his cuvées, the 2011 is energetic. There's more red and sour fruit here than you'd find in many a Châteauneuf, to say nothing of the usual cornucopia of Mediterranean spices. We're happy to offer this jewel at the lowest price in the country.

This is Châteauneuf of the highest caliber. Forget whatever reservations you have about the appellation, or at least suspend them to give the very best a fair trial. Rayas makes wines somehow so their own as to merit bracketing from the rest of the appellation while fruit-forward modernists have been at the helm for decades. When you are looking for the experience of traditional Châteauneuf (Mont-Redon of yesteryear, Vieux Telegraphe from the 80s), but with that idiosyncratic magic which characterizes all great wines, you need look no further than Henri Bonneau.

Bonneau 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. 

- Spencer

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