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September 2015

Pierre Olivier Bonhomme Touraine Sauvignon Blanc

Formerly Puzelat Bonhomme but now just Bonhomme, this wine is a bit of a legend in the natural wine world. Thierry Puzelat and Pierre Olivier Bonhomme started making this and a range of other wines totally naturally and from organic grapes bought from their friends.  The wines quickly gained a serious reputation because of their impressive quality and very reasonable prices.  With this, the 2014 vintage, Pierre Bonhomme is exclusively running the show, Thierry Puzelat having stepped out to take up the reigns of his family's winery.


Bonhomme's Touraine Sauvignon Blanc is made from organic grapes grown in the central Loire.  Bonhomme isn't adding anything to boost flavors or sugar so he has to get the grapes fully ripe and give the fermenting juice a longer period of contact on the skins.  The result may not be quite what you've come to expect Loire Sauvignon Blanc to be, but it's so honest, intriguing, and undeniably tastes like the cool clay and flint of the Loire.

Aroma: Apples!  Crisp sweet heritage baking apples.  Some fruit custard?  Definitely ripe pineapple.  Mango too in that way that mango is kind of earthy along with the ripe tropical flavor it has.  This is not your usual crisp and precisely manufactured Sauvignon Blanc; Bonhomme's Sauvignon Blanc is made from truly fully ripe Sauvignon Blanc grapes naturally fermented with the yeast on the skins and an extended period of skin contact.  Those riper grapes result in riper slightly honeyed flavors.  

Palate: Rich and medium bodied texture.  Spice on the finish with lush and tropical character.  The wine has a bit of a cidery undertone too.  Bonhomme's Touraine is definitely better after it has had a chance to open up: the fruit gets more expansive.  The fruit flavors are ripe and juicy but the wine still has an acid and mineral streak that keeps it fresh and snappy.  Passion fruit as well in the finish I think.

Bonhomme's Touraine is layered, unique, hand made, and delicious.  And it's about $18 retail which is a steal for hand made wine like this.  It's a great deep substantial earthy white wine available at Maine and Loire, Browne Trading, Aurora Provisions, the Rosemonts on Brighton, Commercial St, Munjoy Hill, and the Blue Hill Wine Shop.