2019 Boulay Sancerre

The Boulay style is a world away from the regular refreshing but forgettable norm… [it] should really be compared with a white burgundy in terms of its rewards and complexity JANCIS ROBINSON MW

To my palate, Gérard Boulay is undoubtedly on the top tier of producers in Chavignol. His wines have a vibrant purity, evident ripeness, feel devoid of any raw varietal character and reflect the soils from which they are born. Indeed, in terms of purity and daringly racy, I do wonder whether he shouldn’t be placed at the very top of the tier. I certainly find his wines sufficiently exciting, breath-taking in their assured poise, to suggest this might be the case. CHRIS KISSACK, winedoctor.com

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Chavignol is famous for making some of Sancerre’s epic white wines.  This cru of Sancerre is a hilly delight of steep vineyards on soils that produce laser-like wines packed with minerality. Here you’ll find some of the best makers of Sancerre, including Gerard Boulay. Jancis Robinson lists Boulay in her list of top producers – alongside Cotat, Dagueneau, Vacheron and others.

One of the secret weapons behind the cru of Chavignol is its Kimmeridgian marl soils.  A fusion of limestone and clay, these unique soils evoke tension and purity. As Rajat Parr says, there’s a density and earthiness to the wines from the Kimmeridgian soils.

It’s no surprise that Chablis also shares these Kimmeridgian marl soils, as the wines of Chavignol and Chablis are often spoken about in the same sentence.  Both are conduits of soil – letting their special plots of earth speak louder than the grape variety. It’s quite incredible how much the raucous sauvignon blanc grape can be tamed in the wines of Boulay.

The potent terroir of Chavignol is beautifully expressed across a range of vineyards within Boulay’s stable. Their history within the Sancerre dates back to 1380, they’ve had time to acquire and understand the best sites, and to express these in their minutiae.

In 2019 the wines all share a common thread of taut minerality and fleshy roundness. There’s harmony in the ripeness, nothing overblown just a delicious array of fruit. As you move up through the range, the wines become more concentrated, more mineral and more structured.

Considering these are some of the top wines of Sancerre, their affordability is outstanding. And they cellar beautifully too. If you’d like them to mellow out a little and take on tertiary tones of honey and ginger then let them lie down for a few years.

There’s are very limited especially the single-vineyard wines. We’ve taken 20% off 6 pack buys. And if you’d like to drill down on the nuances between these special wines we’ve put together a Boulay’s Brilliant Mixed 6 pack – one each and a double on the Chavignol. There are only 10 of these packs.