After Les Monts-Damnés and La Grande Côte, Le Clos de Beaujeu is Boulay's third blue-blooded site. Boulay's parcel lies within the original Clos of this vineyard, established by the monks of Beaujeu in the Middle Ages. The walls of the Clos are no longer standing as they were originally built from clay and hay, and have not withstood the test of time. On this slope of Kimmeridgian limestone and clay, right beside the village, Boulay farms a small parcel of 30-110 year old vines. The soils here are particularly rocky - limestone rich and strewn with fossils. Along with the 60o gradient, these rocky soils make this parcel very difficult to farm. Le Clos de Beaujeu is the source of some of the Domaine's most structured wines (it's no surprise that Delaporte still farms some Pinot Noir here). This wine was naturally fermented and raised in large, upright cask (60%) and in three and four year old 300-litre barrels (40%) for some 10 months. What grabs you first is the highly charged mineral impact, followed by the hum and buzz of lime pith fruit and chalky texture. With its tangy energy infusing every drop, this is a reminder of why the top wines from this village regularly draw comparison with the finest wines of Burgundy or Germany, but there is also an inky core that is pure Beaujeu. - Importer Note
The steep, south facing, limestone slopes that tower over the tiny hamlet of Chavignol offer one of the world's more remarkable terroirs. In short, Chavignol (within the Sancerre AOC) does for Sauvignon what the greatest vineyards of Piemonte do for Nebbiolo. They offer us a perfect symbiosis; a perfect match of soil, aspect, climate and grape variety. And like Piemonte, the local foods have evolved to match the wines produced. For example, the goat cheese Crottin de Chavignol, is simply one of the greatest matches for Sancerre (and Chavignol in particular). In Chavignol, the best wines have nought to do with varietal character; the grape simply plays conduit to the mineral freshness of the limestone-rich soils and the sun trapping, south facing exposition. This terroir creates (in the right hands) whites with that rare combination of hedonistic texture and racy, crunchy minerality. Importantly, Chavignol tempers Sauvignon's herbaceous tendencies and produces great smoky, stone fruit noted whites of fabulous clarity, texture and energy. This is Sancerre that will wow even those who think they don't like Sauvignon!
Gerard Boulay is one of the greats of this tiny village producing some of the most distinctive and sublime wines in Sancerre. The man himself is as focused and intense as the wines he crafts. He is also incredibly humble. His respect for Chavignol and its proud history is evident by his refusal to betray the terroir with lazy viticulture or industrial winemaking. Under Boulay's charge, the quality of the land and its resultant produce need nothing in the way of corrections. The soil is ploughed, no herbicides or pesticides are used, yields are kept low and harvesting is by hand (extremely rare these days in Sancerre). In the winery there is no chapitalisation, no added yeasts or enzymes. The wine ferments naturally and Boulay doesn't filter unless the wine needs it. Some of the wines are fermented in old barrels. Very importantly, the average vine age in the Boulay vineyards is over 45 years. Finally, and most significantly of all, is Boulay's remarkable selection of Chavignol terroirs, including La Grande Cote, Le Cul de Beaujeu, Monts Damnes and a parcel of the very rare Comtesse (a historical lieu-dit in the Monts Damnes terroir). With a family history of winegrowing in Chavignol that dates back to the 1300's, there is little wonder that the Boulay clan have managed to assemble one of the finest collections of vineyards in the area. - Importer Note
|Product Type||Wine White Sauvignon Blanc|
|Winemaking Practices||Minimal Intervention|