[ Northern Rhone – France ]
[ Story: ]
Brothers Patrick and Christophe Bonnefond inherited this family estate in 1990. These holdings – totaling less than 15 acres – are some of the most celebrated and famous sites in France’s northern Rhone Valley. While the winery itself is hidden away, surrounded by grain fields a few kilometers behind the Cote Rotie escarpment itself, the cellars offer up a deceivingly understated cover for the production of some astonishingly delicious wines from Cote Rotie and Condrieu.
The Bonnefond holdings in Cote Rotie read like a red carpet roll call, if vineyards could attend awards shows: the south-facing Cote Chatillon in Condrieu, Semons on the Cote Blonde, and Rozier, Cote Rozier, Mornachon and Les Rochains, all on the Cote Brune. The Les Rochains parcel is a 50 year old planting, located immediately next to Guigal’s La Landonne. All vineyard work, including harvest, is carried out by hand, as the slopes of these sites make any mechanical work impossible.
Grapes harvested for the Condrieu are pressed immediately, then left to cold-settle for 12 hours. Fermentation is then carried out in new oak barrels and the wine is left to age for 10 months. The Cote Rotie from Bonnefond is 100% destemmed prior to fermentation, which is carried out in tank, and the wine is left to age in barrel (40% new oak) for 18 months. The single vineyard Cote Roties (Les Rochains & Cote Rozier) undergo the same fermentation regimen, but are given extended ageing, for 24 months, in 100% new oak barrels.