Stories like this never cease to amaze me. The pieces of the puzzle often fit in surprising ways. In this case, Bonnat is owned by Denis Lesgourgues, who also owns Chateau de Laubade, one of the finest Armagnac producers in the region.
This is not as far-fetched as it sounds because if you look at a map of France, you'll see that Armagnac is just south of Bordeaux. But, in terms of flavor profiles, you couldn't get any further apart.
The chateau was purchased by the family in 1997. It is in the Graves region of France, with its vineyards consisting of 55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Sauvignon. The finished wine is aged for 12 months in oak, one third of which is new.
The Graves refers to the soil of the region. It is basically gravelly and is one of the most sought-after soils when planting a vineyard because of its nutritional content and drainage.
Sheep graze the vineyard to provide natural fertilizer and Lesgourgues uses fava beans as a cover crop to feed the worms, which turn it into the finest compost available. And it's all free.
Like 2014, the 2016 is the other half of the sandwich, with 2015 in the middle. It is spectacular as well as a spectacular value. Its medium to dark color signals the large, buxom wine to follow with cassis and vanilla playing off dark cherry and blackberries all wrapped in a robe of authentic, but sweet tannins.