His decision about cuvées is taken several
years after the harvest - just before bottling. During a visit in
April 2008 certain barrels from from 2003 were marked MB. Maybe
this vintage will bring 2 cuvées but you never know if a barrel
or two could evolve to a third cuvée. The last bottled vintage of
Cuvée Speciale (2008) was vintage 1998.
The blend of the four cuvées and the treatment in the cellars are
not differing. A part of his fields is situated in La Crau and
it's probably from these vineyards the best cuvées are selected.
vinification and ageing of the wines is in fact very simple. When
the fermentation in cement tanks is finished the wine goes into
very old barrels from Burgundy. Here it stays until Bonneau finds
it ready to be bottled - maybe after 6, 8 or 10 years.
Bonneau's ageing cellars is from the 17th century and
are legendary. You can't find a barrel there less than 10 years
old and most of them are very ancient. When you walk around there
you fell you are visiting a museum (See photos below).
If you have the privilege to taste the wines from the barrels you
will find them absolutely wonderful and you must admit that you
are visiting a master of winemaking.
You don't have to be an expert in winetasting to conclude this.
Some people prefer an elegant wine, others prefer a wine with much
character. Some prefer a young wine, some prefer an old wine.
People have very different preferences.
No doubt that all kind of preferences will be satisfied tasting
Henri Bonneau's wines. And - and that's important - all vintages,
young and older, taste very very good.
is the secret ? ("There are no secrets" says Bonneau),
but there is a very low yield, about 10-12 hl./ha. Harvesting is
very late. The maceration is not exaggerated.
Maybe the explanation is that simple?