2018 Nicolas Suteau 'Bohort' Folle Blanche
Region: Muscadet < Loire < France
Grapes: Folle Blanche (AKA Gros Plant)
Vineyard/cellar stats: Certified organic, practicing biodynamic; schist soils; grapes are picked late in order to ensure full ripeness, de-stemmed with no maceration on the skins, the fermented for 1 month, racked and left on the lees for another 6 months in stainless steel; bottled unfined/unfiltered with no added So2; zero-zero; 12% ABV; 166 cases
Winemaker: Nicolas Suteau
The Loire valley ranges from more continental climates in the east, to maritime as the region approaches the Atlantic in the west, which is why the Muscadet AOC is famous for cool climate wines with a distinct coastal influence. Here, Nicolas Suteau took over his old family farm along in 2007. Like his family had, and like most in the region do, Nicolas worked conventionally for many years until he had an epiphany, and converted to organic farming in 2016. He is currently working towards complete conversion to biodynamic viticulture and eliminating all added So2. His small estate is split between traditional Western Loire varieties: Melon de Bourgogne, Folle Blanche, Pinot Noir, and a local variety Egiodola, which reflect the variety of soils in the Western Loire.
Nicolas' wines are very different from the often linear and one-dimensional Muscadet on the market, so he chooses not to use the Muscadet AOC. Because he's way out on the eastern end of the appellation where the climate is less oceanic, the wines have less of that briny salinity you get in Muscadet, and a touch more body. Also, Nicolas doesn’t manipulate the wines at all – so the wines, unlike most in Muscadet, do their malolactic thing, which brings a pleasant roundness and texture to the wine.
This 'Bohort' bottling is 100% Folle Blanche, a local grape also known as Gros Plant, that is racy and fruit-forward, with ripe melon, peach and apple. Crisp and high acid, with mineral and salty notes, its another killer wine with all things seafood, but will also please fruity Sauv Blanc lovers. The labels, which look like something out of Games of Thrones, pay homage to the Celtic heritage of Nantes and depict different characters of the Knights of the Round Table - Bohort featured here is the Celtic name for Bors, one of King Arthur's storied knights.