Bonneau Wines

2008 Los Carneros Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir •Sangiacomo Vineyard

California: Carneros (Sonoma & Napa)

Offer Expired:Nov 16, 2010 at 11:59 pm
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The Wine Spies are proud to be be the only wine merchant to bring you today’s fantastic Pinot Noir from Bonneau Wines. How do we do it? We could tell you, but, you know…


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Mission Codename: A Grandson’s Duty

Operative: Agent Red

Objective: Return to Bonneau Wines, in the Pinot mecca of Carneros. Secure a delicious single vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: Bonneau Wines

Wine Subject: 2008 Bonneau Wines Los Carneros Pinot Noir

Winemaker: John Bambury

Backgrounder: The Carneros region, established in 1983 was the first AVA to be designated by climate as opposed to political boundaries. Straddling both Napa and Sonoma counties, the Carneros region is heavily influenced by the cool waters of the Pacific Ocean and San Pablo Bay. Moderately cool temperatures and summer time fog coupled with dense clay soils that inhibit root development make this region ideal for Burgundian varietals such as Pinot Noir.

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Beautiful ruby hues, with perfect clarity, right through the heart of the wine. At the edges, a fine ring of pink encircles the glass. When swirled, the wine shows off chubby, wine-stained legs that move slowly down the glass.

Smell – Bold, bright and alive on the nose, this wine leads with candied cherry, blackberry, strawberry and soft rhubarb. Just beneath these, aromas of caramel, young strawberry, earth and soft spice emerge. These linger on the nose long after you put your glass down.

Feel – This medium-bodied wine is velvet smooth across the front palate with fine grained tannins and a soft acidity that add a soft hint of spiced tanginess. Soft spices emerge at the edges and spread their way inward, giving the wine an intriguing overall feel

Taste – Smoky cherry and bright young strawberry lead the way. These are quickly followed by rhubarb, subtle salad herbs, fresh forest floor. Underneath these, the wine is supported by softest oak, spice and a hint of black pepper.

Finish – Long and rich, leading with bright red flavors and moving more dark and softly spiced as the fruits tail off gently.

Conclusion – Today’s wine is a multi-family, multi-generational marvel. Winemaker, John Bambury, is the third generation grandson of French winemaker and farmers. The Sangiacomo family, whose vineyard today’s wine has sprung, is a third generation winegrowing family. John literally grew up with the Sangiacomo family. Their enduring relationship has has yielded remarkable wines. Today’s 2008 Bonneau Los Carneros Pinot Noir from the Sangiacomo Vineyard is a serious wine with aromatics and flavors that thrilled our tasting panel. We marveled at the lingering aromatics and the great fruit on the palate. Drinking beautifully now, this wine still has more potential. Enjoy it with your best Holiday delights, but save a couple of bottles, as this wine will continue to improve over the next few years.

We paired our review bottles with a fresh pear and fig salad with blue cheese. The combination was amazing. Pair with your favorite holiday meal, too!

Mission Report:


SUBJECT: John Bambury, Vintner

WINE EDUCATION: OTJ! Learn as I grow, invest & produce.

CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: I’ve been a Salesman, Entrepreneur & Grower all my business career. Winemaking is a relatively new departure.

WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Make it easy to enjoy right now & worth having for any special occasion.

WINEMAKER QUOTE: Seek & you’ll discover.

FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: (DATE) Our 2002 Catherine’s Vineyard Estate Grown Chardonnay was officially released January 2004.


AGENT RED: Greetings, John. We are thrilled to be showing your 2008 Los Carneros Pinot Noir, Sangiacomo Vineyards today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.

JOHN BAMBURY: It’s a pleasure to be here again. It’s been over a couple of years since we last met.

RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?

JOHN: I’ve always been interested in cooking & making recipes better. I took that philosophy to my winemaking endeavors. I’m meticulous about growing grapes, optimizing harvest & sorting fruit for superior quality. The rest of the program involves doting over the soak, fermention & aging process to make sure the best qualities of the fruit is emphasized.

RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?

JOHN: I’ve had tutelage from three wine masters Phillip Titus at Chappellet; Randle Johnson at Hess Collection & Rick Tracy Great Grand Wine Guru.

RED: Who do you make wine for?

JOHN: I make wine the way I like to drink it — as the best compliment to food.

RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.

JOHN: This is our first Pinot Noir. The grapes come from the Sangiacomo Vineyards across the street from our prized Chardonnay estate vineyards in Sonoma Carneros. We waited a couple of years to get the grapes we wanted. There are 3 clonal selections blended together to get an elegant interpretation of the best Carneros has to offer in Pinot Noir. I thank Steve Sangiacomo for his help in recommending the best parts of his vineyards to pull from.

RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?

JOHN: With cheese try Cypress Grove Chevre, Humboldt Fog found at Sonoma Market, Olivers, or WholeFoods to name a few. This time of year try it with roast turkey, cranberry & the rest trimmings. Or Rack of Lamb with sautéed mushrooms.

RED: In your opinion, what makes the Carneros region so special?

JOHN: Established in 1985, the Los Carneros appellation continues to grow in prestige. The warm days, breezy afternoons & cool evenings, influence by the proximity to the bay, throughout the growing season, is ideal growing spectacular Pinot Noir & Chardonnay grapes in particular. Relatively shallow clay soils add just the right amount of stress to the vines to naturally limit crop production and intensify flavors.

RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?

JOHN: We just finished crush & we’re finishing primary fermentations now.

RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?

JOHN: They’re ready drink. So try them & enjoy them now. If you really like your selection put 6-10 bottles away & try them every six months to see how it’s developing. Our wines are made as reward for a great discovery.

RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

JOHN: Fine wine is loaded with nuances. Look for interesting characteristics in our wines. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!

Wine Spies Vineyard Check:

The location of the Sangiacomo Vineyards can be seen in this satellite photo.

What the Winery Says

About This Wine:

Bonneau Winery is operated by the third generation of Bonneaus with family history dating back to the early 1920s in the Sonoma side of the Los Carneros appellation. The Bonneau’s originally came to America from France, near the vineyard lands of Bordeaux, and began farming a 70 acre parcel of land just south of the town of Sonoma. After growing and providing Chardonnay grapes to several well known wineries in both Sonoma & Napa, the family launched its own label in 2002.

Pinot Noir grapes for this wine are carefully selected and hand picked at the Sangiacomo Vineyards off Bonneau Road located in the heart of the Carneros appellation. Winery operations take place in Kenwood where the wine is fermented & aged in caves sunk deep in the foothills located on the west side of Sonoma Valley.

About The Winery Wines:

In 1921 August and Catherine Bonneau purchased 70 acres of land in Schellville, about 8 miles south of the town of Sonoma, California. This was a very remote area at the time, requiring a full day’s travel time from San Francisco. This area reminded the Bonneaus of the Bordeaux region of France near the area where they were born.

The Bonneaus farmed the land, had a dairy and ran a small country store/deli. Although the vineyard has long since replaced the dairy, the members of the family still operate businesses that the Bonneaus started.

In 1989 their daughter, Yvonne, fulfilled Catherine’s vision of having a vineyard. She planted 30 acres of Chardonnay grapes on premium rootstock. Yvonne, as matriarch of the family farm, began supplying some of the best known wineries in Sonoma and Napa. The vineyard consistently received high praise for the quality of the fruit. Yvonne looked forward to the day the family could produce their own wines.

In 2001, her son, John Bambury, began spearheading the wine making operations on behalf of Yvonne’s four children by introducing Bonneau Wines with the 2002 Los Carneros, Chardonnay. Since then Bonneau Wines has produced Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. The family’s commitment to making fine wines has already been recognized by wine aficionados, critics and everyday wine lovers alike.

About the Winery:

Bonneau Winery is operated by the third generation of Bonneaus with family history dating back to the early 1920s in the Sonoma – Los Carneros appellation. The Bonneaus originally came to America from the vineyard lands of Bordeaux, France and began farming a 70 acre parcel of land just south of the town of Sonoma. After growing and providing Chardonnay grapes to several well known wineries in both Sonoma & Napa, the family launched its own label in 2002.

Bonneau sources its red varietal grapes from top vineyards in Sonoma, Napa, & Amador counties. Winery operations take place in Kenwood. Barrels are aged in caves sunk deep in the foothills located on the west side of the Sonoma Valley.

John Bambury is the Director of Winemaking and handles all the winemaking responsibilities.

Technical Analysis:

Fermentation: Tank fermented with isolated Burgundian yeast

Barrels: 100% Burgundian French oak 40% new, 60% neutral,
36 months air dried, very tight grain

Coopers: Billon, Cadus, François Ferrer

Aged: 16 months

Production: 300 cases

Alcohol: 13.6%

TA: 0.58 g/100ml

pH: 3.64

RS: 0.31 g/100ml

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