Patricia & Rémi Bonneton - L’Alezan Suspens NV - France - 750ml Bottle
Regular price £34.50
Suspens is a blend of Marsanne & Roussane from a tiny parcel they acquired just a stone's throw away from the river bend where the iconic appellations of the Northern Rhône all converge. The vines are between 5 and 25 years in age and are planted over a mixture of loess and rocky sandstone. This particular bottling is a blend of three vintages from 2017, 18 & 19, which have been aged in a sort of simplified solera system. The grapes were first direct-pressed in whole bunches, before being fermented in tank and then racked and blended into varying vessels of wood and steel with the older wines, before seeing the last year of maturation in clay Tinaja brought to their cellars from Spain. It is a powerful white wine that has a beautifully chiselled structure, the ripe stone fruits balanced with a distinct mineral clarity and well-poised acidity. These wines are designed to go the distance, and while drinking well now have the potential to be cellared for decades to come.
Rémi Bonneton started working the vineyards of the Northern Rhône in the early 2000s, not tending vines or harvesting grapes, but working with his two horses, Suspens and Palynka, offering his unique services to plough the soils at some of the most coveted domaines in this part of France. After making a little of his own wine along the way, cut to 2013 and Rémi and Patricia, his wife, found their very first vineyard parcel of Syrah on the steep slopes of the Doux Valley right at the very northern tip of the Ardèche, which despite the sheer terracing is still worked à la Bonneton: by horse and plough. It’s physical, demanding work and no light undertaking - perfect for Rémi who in his previous life was a professional rower. Their domaine totals just under 2 hectares and includes another parcel close to Tournon Sur Rhône planted with Roussanne and Marsanne on a hill straddling the border to the Northern Rhône that sits opposite the iconic vineyards of Cornas and Saint-Joseph. The vines see no chemical treatments and this approach is followed into the cellar where the wines ferment spontaneously and have nothing added. The wine using grapes from these vineyards is bottled as L’Alezan. As they start to work towards their ambitious visions for the future (a big conversion build for their own cellars at their farmhouse in Étables, an experimental planting of Albariño, acquiring more parcels) they buy grapes from other growers further afield to up their production - these wines are bottled as La Tangente.