2016 Clos de la Bonnette Collines Rhodannienes Syrah Vieilles Vignes

SKU #1351827

Domaine Clos de la Bonnette was purchased in 1992 by wife and husband team, Isabelle Guiller and Henri Montabonnet. Isabelle had her eye on this abandoned vineyard site for many years before they moved forward. The main reason that the site remained unoccupied was because the hillsides were in complete disarray, as many of the stone retaining walls had collapsed over the decades due to neglect. Restoring this property could only be done as a labor of love, not a commercial venture. Isabelle and Henri did most of the restoration themselves, rebuilding the walls by hand. Isabelle took on the task of cultivating the indigenous flora around the property, making it more biodiverse. Because of the location of the vineyard, Henri and Isabelle are surrounded by forest, a creek and another hillside of ruins. This natural barrier allows them to more easily produce organically, a process by which they have farmed since they began replanting. The quality of the fruit is so high that Marcel Guigal wanted to purchase their grapes and put them under contract. Thankfully, they politely declined. This old vine Syrah parcel comes from a tiny plot in Cote-Rotie on the top of the hill which leaves it just outside the appellation.

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Price: $29.99

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Staff Image By: Heather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/1/2018 | Send Email
I tasted this lovely Syrah next to a few other wines from the Rhone valley. What a stand out! This wine is elegant and clean and intensely aromatic. It's grown in a cooler vineyard area, so this is not your full-bodied lusciously ripe version of the grape. Rather, its more aromatic and poised with cool berry fruit and a taught underlying structure. Those of you looking for a more restrained and elegant style of Syrah will love this.

Staff Image By: John Majeski | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/16/2018 | Send Email
The last vintage of this ethereal Syrah left an indelible memory on my palate, drawing analogies between the sheer structural beauty of the wine and the arduous stone by stone restoration by the husband and wife team of the dillapidated hillside vineyards, both involving an immense labor of love and a resolute commitment to perfection. None of their extraordinary efforts were wasted, as this bottle, imbued with enticing aromas of red plum, lavender, pepper and black olive could easily pass for a telltale wine from its famous neighbor. Fortunately for all of us, it possesses all the flavor, ineluctable charm and elegance without the high price. My advice? Squirrel a case or two of this luscious Syrah away and enjoy it over the next few years.
Top Value!

Staff Image By: Keith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/14/2018 | Send Email
This special Syrah comes from an old-vine vineyard parcel just outside the Cote-Rotie appellation. It is loaded with brambly, peppery black fruit flavors and delivers the classic northern Rhone profile with a little more heft and lift. It is a pure expression of the beauty of Syrah and that is what Clos de la Bonnette represents. This is a wine that resonates and drinks like a Cote-Rotie but for half the price. You also don't need to wait long, the 2016 vintage provides lovely fruit generosity and supple tannins. This is a real treat for fans of the Northern Rhone and Syrah in general.

Staff Image By: Thomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/14/2018 | Send Email
The 2016 Clos de la Bonnette is a stunning example of cool climate Syrah. Even in an extraordinarily high-quality site like Cote-Rotie, it definitely stands out from the pack. The aromatics are incredibly powerful: tons of black peppercorn spice and red fruits soar out of the glass. But what I love about this wine is the weight and body. It’s almost ethereal-light, yet doesn’t sacrifice intensity or concentration. Likewise, there is an incredibly bright acidity that is perfect for a wide variety of food pairings. This is a fresh and brilliant take on Syrah. A must have for anyone who loves the variety.

Additional Information:



- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.


- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them.


- Legendary wine-producing region in southeast France. Stereotypically speaking, Rhone wines are high in alcohol, and the majority produced is red. The northern Rhone is best known for outstanding 100% Syrah wines from areas such as Cote Rotie and Hermitage, as well as for fabulous white wines from Condrieu (where Viognier is king). In the southern Rhone, look for spicy, full-bodied wines that are blends of Grenache, Syrah, and other varietals coming from appellations such as Chateauneuf du Pape, Gigondas, or Rasteau. Wines labeled as Cote du Rhone or Cotes du Rhone Village (a cut above generic Cotes du Rhone) are frequently found here in the US because they often represent some of the best values on the market.