Domaine de Bonserine

Located in the north of Côte-Rôtie in Verenay, northeast of the town Ampuis, Domaine de Bonserine is owned by Ets. Guigal, but it is absolutely independent with its own winemaking, commercial and logistics team. The domain today owns 27 acres of vineyards in Côte-Rôtie and about 2.5 acres in the Condrieu appellation.

Planted in some of the best terroir plots in the Côte-Rôtie appellation in both Côte-Blonde and Côte-Brune, the domain has holdings in the lieux-dits (places) of Les Moutonnes, La Viallière, Le Champin, Leyat, Fongeant and Planèze; in Condrieu, it owns vineyards in les Eyguets and la Grande. Soils there are mostly schist, mixed in with iron and mica. All vineyard work is conducted following sustainable practices; in all its vineyard farming, no herbicides, chemicals or pesticides are employed.

The Syrah grape is by French AOC regulations the dominant and only red grape variety allowed in the Northern Rhône appellations, including Côte-Rôtie; however up to 20% Viognier is also permitted. Domaine de Bonserine produces three single-parcel wines from Côte-Rôtie, and one from Condrieu. (A single-parcel wine in CôteRôtie is a relatively rare practice where wines blended from multiple plots are the norm.) From Côte-Rôtie comes Domaine de Bonserine La Garde: Released in only the best vintages and from the Domaine’s best lieu-dits, this wine is 100% Syrah. (See left.) The Domaine’s La Sarrasine is a blend of 97% Syrah and 3% Viognier, the grapes are 100% destemmed. The wine is aged in 60% new French oak for up to 24 months. On average, 2,500 cases are produced each year.

The third red is the Domaine’s La Vaillière: This wine is 95% Syrah-5% Viognier and grown in a single parcel of very old vines. It is aged in a combination of demi-muid (160 gallon) barrels and smaller new Burgundy oak barrels up to two years before bottling.

The Domaine’s Condrieu, whose 100% Viognier vines are raised in granite soils, is suffused with minerality. With an intense, perfumed nose, this rich white wine offers floral notes of violets and apricot flavors.

Current Selections

  • Condrieu

    Terroir: Coming from 3 parcels totaling 1 ha, the different vineyards ensure a nice balance between fruit and minerality. All grapes come from granite soils of the prestigious lieu-dits “Les Rivoires”, “Les Eyguets” and “La Grande” The appellation’s narrow terraces are generally composed of granite and “arzelle”: a mixture of decomposed granite, mica, shale, and clay that gives Condrieu wines their fruity aromas of peaches and apricots. The average age of vines is 25 years.

    Vinification: Severe pruning, leaf plucking, and if necessary a green harvest, to ensure low yields of healthy ripe grapes (AOC authorizes 44hl/ha but Bonserine averages 30-35 hl/ha.) Hand-harvested and sorted three times to select only the best grapes. Every parcel is vinified separately and fermentation triggered by its own wild yeast. The yeast present naturally on the skin helps the terroir to express itself. At Bonserine, the philosophy is to work "as naturally as possible", both in the vineyard and in the cellar. All vineyard work is conducted following sustainable practices; in all its vineyard farming, no herbicides, chemicals or pesticides are employed. Short maceration on the skins before pressing, then fermentation in new light toast 600 litre French oak "demi-muids" with temperature control. Ageing 7-10 months in the same demi-muids.

    View 2016 Vintage
    Browse Other Vintages:
  • Côte Rotie La Garde

    The wines from Côte Rotie are among the greatest wines in the world. Côte Rotie translates to “roasted slope” due to the amount of sunshine the steep slopes receive. The appellation is south-facing and not greatly affected by northerly winds, and has a temperate continental climate similar to that of Lyon: winters are mild, summers hot, and rainfall is regular. The “Mediterranean” influence can be felt in the “drying” southerly wind. While it proved resistant to phylloxera and other diseases, the Great War of 1914-1918 claimed 150 winemakers, meaning some of the hillsides fell out of use. In 1960, only 60 hectares of production remained, but the 1980s saw the vineyard’s revival. The appellation was given fresh impetus and acquired international renown. Almost all of the vines are planted on metamorphic rocks: pressure and temperature – which are higher in the south of the appellation – have created three different terroirs: mica schists in the north, Gneiss to the south, and migmatite at the south-eastern tip. In Côte-Rôtie, the parent rock contains a large number of fractures that provide the vines’ roots with access to the water and minerals contained therein.

    Terroir: "La Garde” comes from a strict selection of the estate’s best parcels on the Côte Blonde and Côte Brune. “La Garde” was the old name of one of the best parcels used to make this wine. This parcel is now called “Côte Blonde”. The name “La Garde” (name on the cadastre) came from the ancient watchtower that stood there (considered the first castle of Ampuis, today in ruins), as shown on the front label. The parcels used to produce “La Garde” are planted with 60 to 80 year old vines’. Only produced in exceptional vintage, this is a veritable fine wine!

    Vinification: Severe pruning, leaf plucking, and if necessary a green harvest, to ensure low yields of healthy ripe grapes (AOC authorizes 44hl/ha but Bonserine averages 30-35 hl/ha.). Yields for the production of “La Garde” are even lower! Hand-harvested and sorted three times to select only the best grapes. Every parcel is vinified separately and fermentation triggered by its own wild yeast. The yeast present naturally on the skin helps the terroir to express itself. At Bonserine, the philosophy is to work "as naturally as possible", both in the vineyard and in the cellar. All vineyard work is conducted following sustainable practices; in all its vineyard farming, no herbicides, chemicals or pesticides are employed. Maceration lasts four weeks; the goal is to do more pump-overs than punch-down in order to extract the noblest tannins. Aged in 228- liter new oak barrels for an extended period of 3 years.

    View 2012 Vintage
    Browse Other Vintages:
  • Côte Rotie La Sarrasine

    The wines from Côte Rotie are among the greatest wines in the world. Côte Rotie translates to “roasted slope” due to the amount of sunshine the steep slopes receive. The appellation is south-facing and not greatly affected by northerly winds, and has a temperate continental climate similar to that of Lyon: winters are mild, summers hot, and rainfall is regular. The “Mediterranean” influence can be felt in the “drying” southerly wind. While it proved resistant to phylloxera and other diseases, the Great War of 1914-1918 claimed 150 winemakers, meaning some of the hillsides fell out of use. In 1960, only 60 hectares of production remained, but the 1980s saw the vineyard’s revival. The appellation was given fresh impetus and acquired international renown. Almost all of the vines are planted on metamorphic rocks: pressure and temperature – which are higher in the south of the appellation – have created three different terroirs: mica schists in the north, Gneiss to the south, and migmatite at the south-eastern tip. In Côte-Rôtie, the parent rock contains a large number of fractures that provide the vines’ roots with access to the water and minerals contained therein.

    Terroir: "La Sarrasine" is Bonserine’s signature wine. It is a blend of 10 terroirs mostly coming from the North part of the appellation in the Côte Brune (brown slope), hence the name “Sarrasine” (translating to “Saracen”). Cote Blonde is the larger of the two hills with a terroir of sand, granite, schist rock, and limestone soils. Those elements crate a lighter colored soil than the Cote Brune. Cote Blonde is located slightly south of Cote Brune giving it a south by south east exposure. Cote Brune has is the smaller of the two hills and has a terroir of clay and iron oxide along with granite, mica, schist rock and limestone soils. Those elements create a darker colored soil than you find on the Cote Blonde. These differences in terroir explain the power and more masculine style of wine from the Cote Brune, versus the opulent, lush qualities found in Cote Blonde wines. The average age of vines is 30 years.

    Varietal: 97 % Syrah complemented by 3 % Viognier, adding pretty floral notes. Cote-Rôtie is the only red cru in the Northern Côtes du Rhône to plant Viognier (up to 20%) alongside the Syrah. The Syrah produces quality wines, with rich colors and tannin content. In Côte-Rôtie, viognier complements the Syrah with finesse and aromas.

    Vinification: Severe pruning, leaf plucking, and if necessary a green harvest, to ensure low yields of healthy ripe grapes (AOC authorizes 44hl/ha but Bonserine averages 30-35 hl/ha.) Hand-harvested and sorted three times to select only the best grapes. Every parcel is vinified separately and fermentation triggered by its own wild yeast. The yeast present naturally on the skin helps the terroir to express itself. At Bonserine, the philosophy is to work "as naturally as possible", both in the vineyard and in the cellar. All vineyard work is conducted following sustainable practices; in all its vineyard farming, no herbicides, chemicals or pesticides are employed. Maceration lasts four weeks; the goal is to do more pump-overs than punch-down in order to extract the noblest tannins. The wine was aged for 24 months in 600-liter oak casks named “demi-muids” (60% new)

    View 2013 Vintage
    Browse Other Vintages:
  • Côte Rotie La Viallière

    The wines from Côte Rotie are among the greatest wines in the world. Côte Rotie translates to “roasted slope” due to the amount of sunshine the steep slopes receive. The appellation is south-facing and not greatly affected by northerly winds, and has a temperate continental climate similar to that of Lyon: winters are mild, summers hot, and rainfall is regular. The “Mediterranean” influence can be felt in the “drying” southerly wind. While it proved resistant to phylloxera and other diseases, the Great War of 1914-1918 claimed 150 winemakers, meaning some of the hillsides fell out of use. In 1960, only 60 hectares of production remained, but the 1980s saw the vineyard’s revival. The appellation was given fresh impetus and acquired international renown. Almost all of the vines are planted on metamorphic rocks: pressure and temperature – which are higher in the south of the appellation – have created three different terroirs: mica schists in the north, Gneiss to the south, and migmatite at the south-eastern tip. In Côte-Rôtie, the parent rock contains a large number of fractures that provide the vines’ roots with access to the water and minerals contained therein.

    Terroir: "La Vialliére" is renowned 1-hectare single-vineyard. The parcel is notable for its highly decomposed mica schist soil. This shallow friable soil gives the wine its structure, finesse and exceptional elegance. The average age of vines is 20 years. This wine is only produced in favorable vintages.

    Varietal: 95% Syrah complemented by 5% Viognier, adding pretty floral notes. Cote-Rôtie is the only red cru in the Northern Côtes du Rhône to plant Viognier (up to 20%) alongside the Syrah. The Syrah produces quality wines, with rich colors and tannin content. In Côte-Rôtie, viognier complements the Syrah with finesse and aromas.

    Vinification: Severe pruning, leaf plucking, and if necessary a green harvest, to ensure low yields of healthy ripe grapes (AOC authorizes 44hl/ha but Bonserine averages 30-35 hl/ha.) Hand-harvested and sorted three times to select only the best grapes. Fermentation triggered by its own wild yeast. The yeast present naturally on the skin helps the terroir to express itself. At Bonserine, the philosophy is to work "as naturally as possible", both in the vineyard and in the cellar. All vineyard work is conducted following sustainable practices; in all its vineyard farming, no herbicides, chemicals or pesticides are employed. Maceration lasts four weeks; the goal is to do more pump-overs than punch-down in order to extract the noblest tannins. Aged 24 to 30 months in demi-muids (100% new oak).

    View 2013 Vintage
    Browse Other Vintages:

Showing : 4