2011 Henri Bonneau "Réserve des Célestins" Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Pre-Arrival)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Like the Marie Beurrier, the 2011 Châteauneuf du Pape Reserve des Celestins shows the sunny warmth of the vintage with its killer perfume of sweet red and black fruits, pepper, smoked herbs and Provençal garrigue. Medium to full-bodied, sexy and with ripe tannin, it's not a blockbuster, but is about as Provençal as it gets. It will drink nicely right from the get-go and I suspect not shut down. My tasting with Henri Bonneau is always one of the highlights of my two weeks spent working in the Southern Rhône. As I’ve said before, the cellar conditions here are incredibly dirty, but the elixir that comes out of the barrels never ceases to amaze. However, I will say it’s incredibly difficult to really know what you are tasting and when it will actually see the inside of a bottle. For each vintage, I taste just two barrels, a young vines and a selection from La Crau. I expect the young vine sample to be the Cuvee Marie Beurrie, but it might very well end as just the classic Châteauneuf du Pape. The selection from La Crau is always a more impressive barrel sample and has more depth, richness and concentration. In great vintages like 2010, I’ve no doubt this will end up being a Reserve des Celestins release, yet in 2013 for example, I suspect this will end up either in the Cuvee Marie Beurrier or in a straight Châteauneuf du Pape bottling. Looking at the vintages tasted here, the 2010 and 2012 are clearly superior, but 2011 continues to impress as well, although I believe Henri
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
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.