Jon Bonné’s most memorable wines, and a walk down Eisele lane …

You’re reading this blog, so it’s probably reasonable to assume you’re aware of Jon Bonné. Possibly from just reading this blog, but more likely because of his excellent wine column in the San Francisco Chronicle.


He’s an excellent writer, with an excellent palate, and above all else, he’s a pro.

And, he likes to have a bit of fun with some archetypal end-of-year tropes; something I’m rather fond of as well.


Jon’s most recent contribution to the EOY canon is a column entitled “The Ten Most Memorable Wines of 2012.”

I like this. I like this because it calls attention to that which separates the wine from the drink, as it were. A drink is food, is culinary. It is tasted, it is savored, it is assessed, and hopefully, it is enjoyed. But a wine, when wonderful, is more than that. It is experiential. It is a moment. It is a memory in the making.

To remember a wine as memorable is to recognize it for what it is best able to achieve; to acknowledge that it has become a part of one’s personal emotional and aesthetic history.

So I love this list. Because it’s not necessarily about identifying the “best” wines per se, it’s about identifying the wines that continue to live with you, that continue to move you, that continue to haunt you in the best ways.

A memorable wine is an experience, a night you’ll never forget.

I encourage you to read Jon’s list; it’s a phenomenal compendium of experiences.

In the #3 spot are two Ridge wines; the 2009 Monte Bello, and the 1971 Eisele.

The 1971 Eisele.

A wine I’ll never forget.

I first tasted this wine in May of 2009. You can find my tasting notes here:

I read back on my write-up now, and have to laugh at the nervous rigidity of my prose; in an effort to constrain my ebullience, I tightened up, and attempted to present straightforward tasting notes in as pro a fashion as possible. Ridiculous.

Eric Baugher, our VP of Winemaking here at Monte Bello, said it far better than I did:

“The ’71 Eisele was awesome!”

Cheers Jon; to your memories, and ours, and everyone’s!

To read Jon’s full article, please click the following link:

Categories: Cabernet Sauvignon, History, Press Reviews, Tasting Notes, Varietals & Blends

Tags: , , , ,

2 replies

  1. I picked up a magnum of the ’09 Monte Bello last week…now I’m wondering if I should have picked up some 375ml instead;-)

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