Pierre Olivier Bonhomme’s history is inseparable from that of the legendary Clos du Tue-Boeuf, a Domaine located in Touraine. Thierry Puzelat, the visionary at the helm of the estate, sought to diversify his project twenty years ago. In addition to opening a wine bar featuring unadulterated renditions of Loire Valley wines, he began a small négociant business to help support local organic grape growers, and stabilize his production size in bad years. As the project grew, he took on a twenty-something cellar worker to help him: Puzelat-Bonhomme was born.
In 2013, Thierry had to return his full attention to the family estate leaving Pierre-O to run his new Domaine on his own (although Pierre-O has been making the wine in its entirety since 2011). They strive to save endangered historic grape varieties like Menu Pineau, Fié Gris, Chardnnay Musqué and Pinot Meunier. Although they started as a Négociant, they now rent and farm several plots for themselves.
Pierre-O avoids any additives, relying on natural yeasts and the high quality of the organically grown grapes they purchase and farm. The exception to this rule is a small amount of sulphur at bottling to protect during transportation.
TOURAINE SAUVIGNON BALNC
The Sauvignon Blanc for this cuvée comes from young too middle-aged sites around Touraine planted on silex. The grapes are farmed organically and are picked by hand. The wine spontaneously ferments in a combination of stainless steel and neutral barrels. The wine is moved outside in the spring where the cold causes the tartrates to crystalize, resulting in a naturally stable wine. The wine is then bottled with minimal Sulphur.
VIN DE FRANCE ROSÉ
This wine is made from Gamay Noir with a small amount of Cabernet Franc. The soils here are clay-flint. Whole clusters are direct-pressed into neutral tank where fermentation occurs spontaneously. After five months of settling, the wine is lightly filtered and 20ppm of Sulphur is added to prevent refermentation as this wine has a couple grams of residual sugar.
This wine is made from the unlikely combination of Gamay Noir, Côt, and just a pinch of Pineau d’Aunis and Grolleau. The grapes come from the Vallée du Cher where the vines take root in silex soils. The wine ferments in large open top foudre before being pressed off into neutral barrels. After six months, the wine is bottled.
IN CÔT WE TRUST
This wine is made exclusively from Côt (Malbec) from Touraine. Whole-clusters are added to the tank where they gently ferment. The wine is then pressed off into neutral barrels for several months to settle. No Sulphur is added until shortly before bottling. This wine was not fined nor filtered.
TUFFEAU CHENIN BLANC
The Chenin Blanc for this project comes from an organic grower in Vouvray. The vines are over thirty-five years old and are planted in chalky limestone (Tuffeau). The grapes were whole-cluster pressed into neutral oak where they fermented for a full four months before reaching dryness. The wine spent an additional year in barrel before being bottled unfined, and unfiltered with only 20ppm of Sulphur. The wine was not approved by the AOC since it wasn’t clear, so Pierre-O decided on the cheeky name of ‘Tuffeau’, playing on the words ‘Tu es a Faute’ meaning ‘You’re at Fault’ for the decision to reject his wine from AOC status.