Guillaume Gonnet, Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge Bel Ami, Southern Rhône, France, 2020
The energetic and charismatic Guillaume Gonnet is not your average Rhône winemaker. Extremely open in his attitude, his curious, boundary challenging approach extends beyond wine.
He travelled to the far ends of the earth, revelling in the opportunity tosurf some of the best waves in the world while learning his craft in various Australian and New Zealand regions. Returning to the Rhône, now with his Australian wife Kelly, Guillaume has shown similar energy for his family estate and for his own nascent project. This land locked surfer may be miles from the ocean but is happily riding the wave of new found enthusiasm for Grenache based wines. Pursuing biodynamics wherever possible, allowing his fruit to express itself freely through hands-off winemaking and displaying his fascination for the varying soils of the Rhône through his diverse range of wines, he's just the sort of restless creative that we love to work with.
The soils is made up of round pebbles on the surface, sand, clay and limestone. The vines are very old and average 50 to 90 years old and planted at a density of 3500 vines per HA, planted on a South East facing vineyard. All grapes are hand harvested.
Vinified and aged in various types of container. 30% pyramid shaped concrete vats, 30% wooden vats, 30% stainless steel, 10% demi muids (600L) barrels.
Demi muids 600L
% wine oaked: 30
% new oak: None
A red and black fruit bouquet, of cherries and blackberries, a hint of garrigue, liquorice and spice. A fine wine. This wine will open up beautifully if decantered at least 1 hour before serving.
A very versatile food partner. Anything from game, red meats, coq au vin, parma ham, duck and spicy sausage.
Robert Parkers The Wine Advocate 91 Points
The 2020 Chateauneuf du Pape Bel Ami comes across as slightly lighter-weight and less concentrated than the impressive 2019. Black raspberry flavors dominate, while the tannins are ripe and supple, easing into a long, slightly warm finish. 91 Points, May 2022.
12 x 75cl
Award: Wine Spectator 92 Points