Guillaume Gonnet - Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Bel Ami 2020
Look familiar? By now, it should, as the wines from Guillaume Gonnet have become our top-selling Rhones – red and rose! I’ll give you a brief refresher… then the wine! According to local archives, the Gonnet family has been settled in Bédarrides since 1600. Beda – where? It’s the town about 1 mile east of Chateauneuf du Pape. Ok. Got it. Well, after centuries of growing grapes, the family, namely Etienne Gonnet, created a winery in 1950. Font de Michelle. Sounds familiar? It’s only one of the icons of the region! Today, the 3rd generation, specifically Guillaume Gonnet, has taken control of the family winery. In addition to managing his family’s holdings, Guillaume and his wife, Kelly, have begun purchasing their own plots in Chateauneuf. The future is bright!
For this cuvee, Gonnet sources fruit from 50 to 90 year-old vines in the Croix du Bois vineyard, the same one primarily used by Michel Chapoutier in his Chateauneuf Croix du Bois!
This is a 50/50 split of Grenache and Syrah. The higher than normal proportion of Syrah adds a more pronounced “black fruit” character to the wine – blackberries and black cherries – that plays nicely with the red cherry and black pepper spice of the Grenache. Then, Guillaume ages in 4 different types of vessels to create a blend offering more than the sum of its parts - 30% pyramid shaped concrete vats, 30% wooden vats, 30% stainless steel, 10% demi muids (600L) barrels. In all, Bel Ami is a singularly elegant, beautiful Chateauneuf that is drinking wonderfully today, but will age for a decade or more. To pair? The winery suggests the following, and who am I to argue? Sounds delicious! “Provencal Daub, Coq au Vin, Magret de Canard (Duck), charcuterie such as parma ham, spicy sausage and a selection of cheeses, such as comté and beaufort.”
Jeb Dunnuck: 92 Points
"As to the reds, the 2020 Châteauneuf Du Pape Bel Ami is terrific, with juicy red fruit (strawberries, raspberries), spring flowers, and sappy garrigue aromatics in its medium-bodied, beautifully balanced profile. I love its purity, it has fine tannins, and outstanding length. Drink this floral, complex 2020 over the coming decade. The blend is 70% Grenache and 10% each of Syrah, Mourvedre, and Cinsault."
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