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Thomas Hine & Co. have released their second vintage of Domaine de Bonneuil the 2006 made from grapes grown on their own exceptional estate situated in the tiny parish of Bonneuil, on the gently undulating slopes above the picturesque Colinaud valley.

Only 19 casks, yielding 9,500 bottles, have been selected and bottled at 42.8% volume. Each label shows both the cask and bottle numbers.

Hine’s “First Growth” vineyards currently cover an area of 70 hectares plan ted with established Ugni Blanc vines growing in the best thick chalky terroir of the Grande Champagne area. In 2006 harvesting began at Bonneuil on 23rd September. Distillation took place during December. The wines were distilled on their lees to enhance the fruit and flavour in the new spirit. For maturation the young eaux-de-vie were transferred into fine grain, French oak, second fill casks each around 350 litre capacity made from trees grown in the ancient Allier forests. These casks have been left to gently age in the chais at Bonneuil.

Eric Forget, Hine’s cellar master and estate manager, explains that 2006 was a year with very mixed weather: hot periods were immediately followed by heavy rains and storms. However, the weather turned fine just before and held during the all important harvest period. The result is a cognac with dominant fruity notes.

He describes Bonneuil 2006 as generous and suave. The nose is evocative of candied apricot and nougat enhanced by delicate hints of toasted bread. A subtle hint of lychee awakens aromas of exotic fruits, honeyed flavours and roasted peach.