2007 Napa Valley Syrah
California: Napa Valley
What We Say
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
Today’s Syrah is one of the tastiest, most elegant that we have had the pleasure to bring you in recent memory. We always bring you the best wines we can find, and whenever we showcase a wine that rises above, we issue these special alerts.
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Mission Codename: Something else to be thankful for
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Return to Bonneau Wines, and secure their stellar 2007 Napa Valley Syrah, a wine that has been causing quite a stir among our Syrah faithful. Secure an ample allocation for our Syra-loving Operatives
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Bonneau Wines
Wine Subject: 2007 Napa Valley Syrah
Winemaker: John Bambury
The popularity of Syrah is undeniable. Big and bold in flavor and texture, it packs a concentrated punch of flavor that many people love. This Rhone varietal, although many believe that the grape originated in the Persia region, is 100% French in lineage. The Syrah grape is directly descendant from the Monduese Blanche and Dureza varietals and is grown worldwide with great success.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark magenta, with a clear and darker core. At the edge of the glass, the wine shows as pure ruby. After swirling, skinniest legs form high up on the glass wall, and then run slowly downward.
Smell – Dark and sweet, with bold aromas of blackberry jam, spiced black cherry, smoky blueberry and black raspberry preserve. Underneath these, hints of cigar box, brown spice, black licorice and hints of vanilla and oak make a subtle appearance.
Feel – Fast across the front of the palate, the wine immediately takes on some weight at the mid. There, it settles onto the palate, revealing a medium weight. After a moment, plush tannins and dark minerals combine, leading to a chewy feeling at the cheeks and a dry feeling at the lips.
Taste – Delicious and bold, with dark mixed berry preserves, black plum, red plum and grilled fennel root. As the wine opens up, additional flavors of bramble, brown spice, black pepper and toasty oak are revealed.
Finish – Very long and flavorful, with lingering black fruit flavors that gently yield to spice, pepper and oak as a dark mineral dryness spreads from the center of the palate, outward. As this drying effect reaches its peak, the wine takes on a distinctly chewy feel.
Conclusion – Today’s delicious 2007 Bonneau Napa Valley Syrah absolutely bursts with dark flavors. On the nose, the wine delivers the sort of deep aromatics that had us inhaling the wine, long before taking our first sips. The mouthfeel is tender, at first, then quickly full and a mouth-filling. The chewiness that follows is really quite pleasing, making the wine feel both like a drink and a snack! Our tasting panel really loved this wine, and we give it our heartiest recommendation.
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
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 2007 Napa Valley Syrah today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
JOHN BAMBURY: It’s always a pleasure to be here with you.
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 Syrah was a departure from our mainstay varietals. So this is going to be our first and only offering of Syrah for a while. We got a great opportunity to harvest some stellar fruit from a small vineyard off the Silverado Trail just north of the town of Napa in 2007. We dropped some fruit in order to encourage the fruit to ripen completely and evenly. This helped to intensify the flavors. We barrel aged the wine for 22 months in French oak of which 40% was new. This produced an elegant wine with a perfect balance of fruit & oak.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
JOHN: I like a Cajun Rib eye Steak … marinated overnight in olive oil, garlic, onion & black pepper. Then simply barbequed; seasoned with a mixture of paprika, cayenne, white pepper, salt & black pepper.
The rich fruit with mocha coffee flavors and the smoothly integrated tannins in this Syrah compliment spicy meat and other spicy dishes very well.
RED: In your opinion, what makes the Napa Valley so special for Syrah?
JOHN: It is said that the Napa Valley benefits from the “Mercedes Effect” because the warm, dry days of summer combine with cooling marine influences of the San Francisco bay making the fruit ripening process go as smoothly as a Mercedes changing gears. The “Mercedes Effect” certainly seemed work for us in getting the Syrah grapes for this wine to reach perfect maturity.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
JOHN: We’re wrapping up a crazy harvest this year. It was the coolest summer I can remember. But we were lucky to get all the varietals we harvested ripe and loaded with intense flavors. We are going to have some stellar wines from 2011 at Bonneau.
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 Bonneau winery can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
This wine displays a deep, inky black cherry color in the glass with a transparent tyrian burgundy halo at the edge. The rich color of midnight foretells the delicate aromas & flavors of bright ripe cherries, plums, black raspberry, prairie sage, & black licorice. The texture is full and meaty & leads to a dark fruit filled, vanilla & spice finish. The tannins are well integrated & velvety smooth.
Our ultra premium Napa Valley Syrah has already garnered critical acclaim. While the wine is very approachable now, it’s going to age gracefully for many years. It pairs well with cured meats, lamb, osso bucco, rich red pastas or a firm nutty cheese like Cypress Grove Chevre, Midnight Moon.
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.
Composition: 90% Syrah, 10% Petite Sirah
Aged: 28 months
Fermentation: Tank fermented with natural yeast
Barrels: 100% French oak 33% new
Coopers: Vicard, Sylvain, Taransaud & Sirugue
Production: 200 cases
TA: 0.59 g/100ml
RS: 0.29 g/100ml