Situated close to the village of Thouarce in France's Loire Valley, the appellation of Bonnezeaux is for the production of intense and sweet wines produced from the Chenin Blanc grape variety. This is in the Anjou region of the Loire Valley, close to the Layon River which gives the area a special micro-climate. It is one of the world's greatest and long-lived dessert wines.
As with top quality Sauternes, the harvest is collected in several passes through the vineyard and grapes are selected berry by berry to ensure only the finest fruit make it into the vats. The grapes can be but don't have to be, affected by Botrytis Cinerea or noble rot, but the main thing is to have great concentration of flavour.
The resulting wines in youth display a lovely golden colour which intensifies with age as does the flavour and the aromas. Both become extremely complex with age yet the youth is retained in both profiles. These wines can live for decades as you may expect and I have a distinct memory of drinking a bottle from the 1966 vintage with Rene Renou in Thouarce after a visit to the bowling club. This was in the late 1990's and the wine was quite magnificent.