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2014 was Henri’s 59th vintage producing Châteauneuf and one of the last on which his fingerprints are clearly visible.  I consider the ’14s and ’15s to be tandem swam songs for precisely this reason.  It is not their obvious lateness that gives the two vintages the feel of a final testament but rather how richly they evoke the memory of a vigneron who knew exactly and always what sort of wines he wanted to make. 

Henri had a knack for turning out splendidly aromatic, pure wine in cooler vintages like ’14.  As usual he could rely on long élévage to intensify richness and depth without compromising bright, fresh vintage character.  Tasting this ’14 you notice the Bonneau difference: ‘cool vintage’ implies neither dilution nor leanness but rather a compact concentration entirely devoid of heaviness.  

In most CDP these days acid seems to play the role of Atlas holding up the weight of the world.  Here the acidity  animates rather than merely supports the wine’s flush fruit, evoking the wines of decades past when CDP was often sought for its purity and precision.  Certainly the intensity-without-weight feel recalls Burgundy, though the flavors remain resolutely Mediterranean.     








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