Domaine de la Bongran, Clessé
Gautier Thenevet is the 5:th generation that runs the Domaine de la Bongran in the small Village of Quintane, just outside Clessé. His father Jean Thenevet took over the 4,5 hectares of vineyards planted on clay and white marl subsoils in 1972 when Gautier’s grandfather wanted to retire.
Jean did, together with famous guys like Marcel Lapierre and Pierre Overnoy, a massive job to develop the philosophies of organic farming and minimal intervention winemaking throughout France in the early 80:s.
His son Gautier started to work by his side in 1996, and is since year 2000, responsible for both the vineyards and vinification, but has Jean around to help him out. Gautier has a handful of work, because he also runs the Domaine Emillian-Gillet that Jean created in 1988 and also the Domaine Roally which he purchased in 2002.
The vineyards are on 250-300 meters altitude and the age of the vines are 5-80 years old, in the commune of Clessé, on beautiful slopes which have a rare microclimate and certain years also enables them to produce a sweet, botrytised wine.
There is one single dry white wine produced every year, and it’s a very unique expression of Chardonnay. Grapes here mature much later and produce a wine which is naturally rich in fruit and body, bright in minerality and acidity and has a few grams of residual sugar.
2018 Viré-Clessé ‘Cuvée Bongran’
Soil: White marl and clay
Appellation: AOC Viré-Clessé
Age of Vines: Planted 1932-1952
Vinification: Direct press before slow fermentation for nearly 2 years in horizontal stainless steel tanks. Then they move the wine from its lees and keep on ageing it in tanks for one more year. After bottling, they bottle-age the wine 2 years before release, to enable the true sense of the origin to come through.