FROM NAPOLEON’S ARMY TO POMEROL During the French Revolution, the first reference to vines in the ‘Graves de Bonalgue’ area appeared in local archives. A veteran from Napoleon’s Grand Army, Captain Rabion, inherited the land and built a handsome residence. The building housed his regimental arms, and the garden was filled with magnificent Lebanese Cedar trees; Chateau Bonalgue was born. THE RENAISSANCE The Bourotte family bought the property in 1926. At the time, the Pomerol appellation was in a period of expansion, and the vineyard area was being fully restructured; that would prove a source of stability for the decades that followed. Since then, each family member that has run Bonalgue has been lucky enough to do so with complete freedom and independence. OVER THE YEARS Pierre Bourotte in 1961, then his son Jean-Baptiste in 2005 : two mythic vintages have marked the turning of the generations... the vineyard today is in excellent condition, and the property continues to improve its methods. Recently the creation of a new vatting room and a second barrel cellar allows us to refine our technique to pay tribute to the exceptional terroir of Bonalgue
THE MAGIC OF MERLOT There is no doubt that Merlot reaches its finest expression in Pomerol, where its velvety tannins and rich aromas reach their peak. Bonalgue proves this once again: the vineyard is planted to 90% Merlot, with Cabernet Franc completing the other 10%. A FEW HECTARES OF PARADISE 9.41 hectares of gravel and sandy-clay soils, with a subsoil of gravels and alios – the rich band of iron-ore that so distinguishes the Pomerol terroir. These qualities make this a heat-retaining soil, that means grapes ripen early and evenly, reaching perfect maturity. PRECISION IS KEY The precise and meticulous attention to detail in the vineyard means they produce quality grapes year after year. Pruning, leaf thinning, debudding, green harvesting... each process is carefully though-out, right up to the picking of grapes into small-sized trays to ensure against crushing or damage.. The final stage before heading to the winery is a hand-sorting in the vines, that takes place bunch by bunch, then berry by berry, ensuring nothing gets missed.
REMAINING FAITHFUL TO THE VINE How to reveal the best the grape, its freshness and power, its aromatic potential and tannic structure ? No rules at this stage, no received ideas; just listening to what the grapes are telling us according to variety, plot, vintage, conditions. Our work is to question at every stage how to ensure the full personality of the harvest is brought to the fore THE HEART OF THINGS... The fermentation temperature, the length of maceration, the rhythm of pumping over to extract as gently as possible the colour and the fruit aromas...we are always looking for the exact balance of all these elements. The key to Bonalgue wines is here – ensuring the perfect combination of structure, silkiness and aromatic exuberance. A LONG SLEEP At every step, the elements used in the creation of this wine come from natural, noble products: here the 100-year-old oak trees from forests in the centre of France provide the barrels that offer the perfect home for malolactic fermentations. For 18 months, they complete the richness of our wines, and help their ability to age.
The generosity of Merlot on this early-ripening terroir brings an exuberant expression to the wine; ripe grapes bring a silky, velvety texture in the mouth, and a strikingly aromatic nose. Bonalgue is open and engaging when young (2-6 years); it doesn’t close down, but after a few years of ageing (7-15 years) reveals its more sophisticated side without ever losing its voluptuous nature.
" This over-achieving estate is one of the most consistent performers in Pomerol. Always a well-made, fleshy, succulent, hedonistic wine " Robert Parker
" A trustworthy buy " La Revue du Vin de France " Very, very fine tannins " Jancis Robinson " Everything about this wine is impressive " Vinum " An imposing Pomerol " Gault et Millau " The perfect archetype of Pomerol " Terre de VinsPage44 | Page45 | Page46 | Page47 | Page48 | Page49 | Page50 | Page51 | Page52 | Page53 | Page54 | Page55 | Page56 | Page57 |