Bonneau Wines

2007 Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel


California: Sonoma County: Dry Creek Valley

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Mission Codename: Zinderella

Operative: Agent Red

Objective: Return to Bonneau Wines, whose 2007 Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel has been getting a great deal of attention from lovers of Zinfandel from the region. Secure Bonneau’s multi award-winning Chardonnay, a delicious single vineyard delight from their Carneros estate vineyard.

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: Bonneau Wines

Wine Subject: 2007 Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel

Winemaker: John Bambury


The Dry Creek Valley across the Russian River from Alexander Valley has a generally cooler and wetter climate which makes the growing season longer and more flexible than neighboring appellations. This is an area best known for producing rather incredible Zinfandel.

Zinfandel is related to the Italian Primitivo grape, tracing its origin to the Croatian grape Crljenak Kastelanski. Zinfandel is one of the most versatile varietals with the ability to make wines, both rich to fruity, dark to light, and dry to sweet. Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel, which are characterized by their balanced flavors, is among the most popular wines of our Operatives.

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Dark Burgundy hues that deepen as your eye falls from the edges of the wine to its deeper center. Give the wine a good swirl, and watch thick, branching legs move slowly down the glass

Smell – Heady and earthy, this wine leads with dusty dark cherry, fresh forest floor, black plum and black currant. After some time, additional aromas of dark strawberry, dark spice, dried red flower petals and black pepper emerge.

Feel – Instantly grippy as it hit the front palate, the wine smooths out, slightly, as it moves across the mid. There, it hangs on for a moment, digging in and spreading a dryness that is laden with flint and black pepper that increases for a moment, driving dark fruit flavors deeper into the corners of the palate.

Taste – Lush and dark, with earthy dark cherry, crushed dried black rose petal, and black plum. After a moment, these are joined by dusty bramble, boysenberry and hard leather.

Finish – Long and filled with dark berry and earthen flavors. As the wine dries the palate, black pepper and chalky minerality gradually replace the dark fruit.

Conclusion – The Dry Creek Valley has become the it region for great California Zinfandel. The varietal thrives here and those winemakers that know the region well are able to craft wines of complexity that burst with big flavors. This is not the sort of big Zin that overpowers the palate. Rather, while this wine is dark and rich, it maintains its composure. Dark and earthy with a bold nose and big flavors, this is a fantastic wine to pair with your favorite Summertime meals. If you are a fan of hearty and balance Zinfandel, we recommend this wine.

Mission Report:

Alas… Winemaker, John Bambury, was too busy in the vineyards to sit down with us for an interview. Please be sure to tune in, the next time we feature another fantastic Bonneau wine.

Wine Spies Vineyard Check:

The location of the Bonneau winery can be seen in this satellite photo.

What the Winery Says

About This Wine:

Our 2007 Bonneau Zinfandel is the first wine produced from grapes grown in the warm and fertile Dry Creek Valley of Sonoma County. After aging over 12 months in French oak barrels, we then bottled to preserve the bright fruit aromas and flavors. It is a classic rendition of the varietal coming from this terroir. The wine shows a deep, dark, purple-ruby hue accompanied by fragrant suggestions of sweet blackberries, dark plums, ripe raspberries along with allspice, nutmeg and white pepper. On the palate, the wine is smooth, juicy, fully bodied and plump with great integration of fruits and spices. The finish is long and intense. While this wine is ready to drink now, it will age gracefully for several years to come.

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 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.

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:

Composition: 90% Zinfandel, 10% Petite Sirah

Appellation: Dry Creek Valley

Harvested: October 29, 2007

Alcohol: 14.1% (13.5)

Aged: 12 months in 100% French oak

Production: 330cases

Vintner: John Bambury

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