Chateau Bonnet, Bordeaux, France.

Excerpt from Beau’s Barrel Room.

By Beau Carufel

Recently I sampled two wines from Chateau Bonnet, a producer Bordeaux, France. This is one of Andre Lurton’s properties, a man who has been at the forefront of Bordeaux wines for a very, very long time. M. Lurton has involvement in seven different wineries throughout Bordeaux, which creates great opportunities to get the best fruit possible in each of the wines. Chateau Bonnet itself dates back to the 17th century, and is about 10 kilometers south of St. Emilion. The Lurtons took over this property in 1956.

The white, from the Entre-Deux-Mers region, is a blend of 50% sauvignon blanc, 40% semillon, and 10% muscadelle. These are the three white varietals allowed in white Bordeaux wines but it’s rare to see them all together in one bottling.

Aromatically, this shows influences of the semillon with it’s perfumed honeysuckle and sea-air aromas. I liked the hints of citrus lurking in the background, like a fresh cut key lime. There’s a lovely wet-gravel mineral element at play too, perhaps a result of the muscadelle. While not an explosive bouquet by any means, there’s a nice bit of elegance and finesse for such a relatively inexpensive white wine.

Like most other white Bordeaux I’ve tasted this year, the 2010 Chateau Bonnet retains great acidity, due in part to the lack of oak treatment. This vintage spent 4 months on the lees, but in steel tanks versus oak barrels. That lee-treatment contributes to a nice, full mouthfeel without excessive flabby elements. I enjoyed the interplay between the washed-limestone and lime juice flavors along with a hint of stone fruit meandering throughout the palate. For around $10, the complexity is impressive and shows what a good deal the Chateau Bonnet is.

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