2019 Gerard Boulay 'Chavignol Tradition' Sancerre


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It's hard to explain why some producers are, well, better than others. Take Gerard Boulay, one our mainest of main heartthrobs in Sancerre. You start by talking about those Kimmeridgian or “terre blanche” soils (soils that are similar to those in Chablis)... but other people have those, too. You cite the fact that his family has been tending vines for over 6 centuries... but even there, he's not alone in France. You go on, and mention that he works manually (rare here) and farms organically (rarer still), and has done so for decades now... and even that, as impressive as it is in a zipcode that's been slow to convert, doesn't account for the Boulay-ian purity. He describes his role not as winemaking but as one of “surveillance,” and if that's the case, you'd have to go back to Gene Hackman in "The Conversation" to find It's an unpopular theory, perhaps, in a democratic land such as ours, but having tasted these wines for years? Some people are just better at things.

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