2014 Domaine Bonneliere, Saumur Champigny Tradition 2014
André Bonneau and his wife created Domaine la Bonnelière in the town of Varrains, the heart of the Samur-Champigny appellation, in 1972 with just a few hectares of vines. Today, their children Anthony and Cédric represent the 5th genera- tion of the family. They have increased the size of the domaine to 40 hectares of prime vineyards and gained international acclaim for their wines. The Bonneaus are vigorous proponents of biodiversity in their vineyards: they plant grass be- tween all the rows as well as hedges and nut-trees surrounding the vines to foster a vigorous natural ambiance. Their Samur-Champigny Tradition is a selection of very ripe and healthy fruit from vines averaging 20-years of age across the domaine’s holdings on southwest facing slopes. The warm micro-climate of Varrains — created by the confluence of the Loire river, its tributary river the Thouet, and the Fontevraud forest — enhances ripening. The chalky limestone and grav- el soil warms quickly and drains well, giving very ripe and concentrated Cabernet Franc grapes. 15% of the cuvée sees a 2 day pre-fementation cold maceration to enhance color and aromatics. Fermentation takes place over 14 days in tempera- ture-controlled, stainless steel tanks. Extraction is attained gently by délestage, aeration, and pumping the liquid over the cap of grape skins; there is no pigéage, to avoid extracting bitter and tannic notes. The Bonneaus regularly give the tanks small doses of oxygen until December to aerate the juice in order to attain the round, soft and expressively fruity style desired. The Samur-Champigny Tradition is assembled and lightly filtered through diatomaceous earth before bottling in April. It is a deeply colored, supple and generously fruity Cabernet Franc wine with a soft texture and fresh flavors of dark cherries, violets and spices.