Wines to Seek Out
There are currently seven wines available from Gérard Boulay in the United States market, including five white Sancerre. While the terroir studies are interesting with the single-vineyard selections, I prefer the yellow-label Chavignol blend, which is not only the most readily available but also a wonderfully balanced, complex and generous wine for any occasion.
Gérard Boulay "à Chavignol" Sancerre
Hands-down my favorite Sancerre wine, especially because it is relatively affordable at the $30 mark. With this wine, Boulay allows all of the elements of the most esteemed terroir in Sancerre to shine through a wine that is as fresh and forthcoming as it is precise and complex. Aromas are redolent of grapefruit zest, papaya, faint bell pepper, cheese rind and loads of petrichor, but it is the floral sensations when the wine hits the palate that burst with the most exuberance.
Gérard Boulay "Mont Damnés" Sancerre
Made from 45-year-old vines on the steepest pitch of Chavignol, the famed "Damned Mountain." Angled toward the sun, this plot yields a riper and bigger Sauvignon Blanc than the others — a sort of Chavignol on steroids. In its youth, the wine's aromas can be fairly subtle, but the flavors on the palate — a swirl of tropical fruit, hibiscus and flinty minerality — burst with energy. Most intriguingly for me was a suggestion of brine, which was there one minute, gone the next, but whose presence put me in the mood for shellfish.
Gérard Boulay "Sibylle" Sancerre Rosé
Reminiscent of ripe strawberries, tangerine and thyme, Boulay's simple rosé of Pinot Noir is pure and delightful. It offers a focused counterpoint to the bevy of French rosé we've grown accustom to from the South of France, as it is satin in its texture, with plenty of body and presence that is followed by a mineral finish.