2013 was Henri’s 58th vintage making wine in Châteauneuf and one of the last he guided through all the way to bottling. Given the quality here together with inevitable posthumous fame, we are thrilled to have enough of this to offer you.
He tended to turn out splendidly aromatic, pure wine in cooler vintages like ‘13. In this wine you’re greeted with that classic barbecued meats and hickory smoke perfume familiar to lovers of these wines, together with a pure fruit profile and slenderer frame than usual. In most renditions of CdP these days the acid feels like Atlas holding up the weight of the world, but here a vibrant streak of acidity adds vitality and a stone fruit-y freshness. - Jason
The Tradition is my go-to wine from Bonneau. It's both overlooked and rare at the same time. The 2013 is still youthful, with a complex nuanced nose of red berries, a touch of dark plum, wood, and earthy truffle. The acid is fresh with plenty of tannin but these are velvety and round. It’s giving a lot of layer and detail, although it’s a fundamentally delicious wine. You don’t have to wait to enjoy this classic CDP, but it will continue to improve over the next 10-15yrs easy. - Daniel
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.
In particular, the 2013 Tradition is an incredible introduction to the Bonneau style at a price point that is as gentle as can be for the wines of this master no longer with us. It is more red fruited than you might otherwise expect from Bonneau with a lilting freshness and beautiful aromatic width. The almost briny, licorice savoriness which saturates the palate is instantly memorable. It's a wine with a sweet core of fruit and immensely supple tannin, and one that is quietly enchanting.
For those unfamiliar with Henri Bonneau: 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 of which was fermented without destemming. The wines across vintages showed opulent fruit and texture while magically preserving tension and freshness. His passing in 2016 is an irreplaceable loss for Châteauneuf-du-Pape.