Jim’s First Blog

Jim’s First Blog

Jim BuddHere’s a sneak preview of Jim’s first entry that will go into the 10th edition of Wine behind the label

Domaine de la Bonnelière (Saumur-Champigny/Saumur)

www.labonneliere.com High quality 37-hectare family domaine but not one of the most fashionable names. Based in Varrains the domaine was founded in 1972 by André Bonneau and now run by Anthony and Cédric Bonneau.  New winery functional winery built in 2010, barrel aging in traditional limestone cellar. André Bonneau was one of the first to introduce machine harvesting in Saumur-Champigny. Poor and rotten grapes are cut off prior to harvest. 35 ha of Cabernet – 34ha Franc, 0.5ha Cabernet Sauvignon, 2ha Chenin Blanc. The Bonneaus stress the importance of site rather than vine age. They have 3ha in heart of Les Poyeux, a famous Saumur-Champigny 15ha vineyard producing their best red, which is only released in good vintages. At just 8€ this is remarkable value as is their Saumur-Champigny Tradition. The Tradition and Les Poyeux are softly fruited but with structure with Les Poyeux, in particular having a good potential to age. Prices kept low for their loyal clients who buy direct. The Bonneaus also make several very small volume cuvées – one with 15% Pineau d’Aunis another with 15% Cabernet Sauvignon plus Franc – 100% Cabernet Franc with 36 months in barrique. Two Saumur Blancs (100% Chenin) – crisp, easy drinking Tradition and the more structured Les Perruchers – vinified in stainless steel aged 8 months in barrique


Recommended Whites:

Saumur Blanc Tradition ** £B

Saumur Blanc Les Perruchers *** £C


Recommended Rosés:

Cabernet de Saumur Tradition ** £A


Recommended Reds:

Tradition *** £B

Les Poyeux **** £C

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