Gerard Boulay Sancerre 'Tradition' Chavignol 2016
The Tradition is drawn from as many as 30 small parcels of mature, 35-40-year-old vines rooted entirely in the limestone soils of Chavignol (far and away the finest terroir of Sancerre). These sites are largely sloping vineyards on the lower flanks of the Chavignol hillside terroirs of Les Chasseignes, Les Longues Fins and Le Rue de Veaux. Importantly, Boulay also includes fruit from his younger vines on the great cru slope of La Grande Côte. The juice is naturally fermented and aged for eight months in tank, on lees, with a small volume also fermented in a single large, upright wooden cask. Tradition is the only blended cuvée in the Boulay line up, yet even here we can taste the kind of finesse, texture and stony, earthy and salty minerality that has made this humble grower one of France's most respected vignerons. While the intense lime and lemon pith, white floral and ripe stone fruit aromas and flavours can remind us of a great Riesling and even a white Burgundy, the subtle herb and chalk dust characters are all Chavignol. As always, it's a benchmark.
"The nose presents aromas of bitter citrus pith, with saline and smoky edges, and a quite pungent, fresh and expressive style. The palate is full, with creamed fruit character, deliciously pungent and confident like the nose, but also precise, with a very salty minerality backing it up. A lovely style." 94 points, Chris Kissack, The Wine Doctor
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