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Gerard Boulay Sancerre Chavignol Rose 2013

Rosé from Sancerre, Loire, France
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    Winemaker Notes

    Unlike many Sancerre Roses, Gerard harvests his Pinot specifically to make rose by direct press, then into tank. It is not a selection of young vines as he has no young Pinot vines. What makes the Rose one year could make red another, and vice versa, depending on what the vintage gives.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Gerard Boulay

    Gerard Boulay

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    Gerard Boulay, Sancerre, Loire, France
    This family domaine of 9ha located in Chavignol can trace its history back to 1380. The land records for that year mention a Jean Boulay as owner of vineyards in Chavignol. At the time, the Clos de Beaujeu in Chavignol was already known for the quality of its white wine which is remarkable since Sancerre was known as a red wine area until after phylloxera. In the 14th century the Clos de Beaujeu supplied the Cathedral of Bourges with white wine.

    Of the 9ha owned by Gerard Boulay, 8 of the hectares are on the slopes of Chavignol on Kimmeridgian or “terre blanche” soils (actually similar to the soils in Chablis). The wines produced on “terre blanche” are some of the most distinctive and soil-inflected Sauvignon Blancs produced in the Loire, with a delineation and minerality often reminiscent of a top Chablis. Among its top ranks, including some of Boulay's neighbors (the Cotats, Vatan, Thomas-Labaille), these are gorgeous, ageworthy wines that are a clear step above "regular"...

    Sancerre

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    Marked by its charming hilltop village in the easternmost territory of the Loire, Sancerre is famous for its racy, vivacious, citrus-dominant Sauvignon blanc. Its enormous popularity in 1970s French bistros led to its success as the go-to restaurant white around the globe in the 1980s.

    While the region claims a continental climate, noted for short, hot summers and long, cold winters, variations in topography—rolling hills and steep slopes from about 600 to 1,300 feet in elevation—with great soil variations, contribute the variations in character in Sancerre Sauvignon blancs.

    In the western part of the appellation, clay and limestone soils with Kimmeridgean marne, especially in Chavignol, produce powerful wines. Moving closer to the actual town of Sancerre, soils are gravel and limestone, producing especially delicate wines. Flint (silex) soils close to the village produce particularly perfumed and age-worthy wines.

    About ten percent of the wines claiming the Sancerre appellation name are fresh and light red wines made from Pinot noir and to a lesser extent, rosés. While not typically exported in large amounts, they are well-made and attract a loyal French following.

    Rosé Wine

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    Whether it’s playful and fun or savory and serious, most rosé today is not your grandmother’s White Zinfandel, though that category remains strong. Pink wine has recently become quite trendy, and this time around it’s commonly quite dry. It is produced throughout the world from a vast array of grape varieties, but the most successful sources are California, southern France (particularly Provence), and parts of Spain and Italy.

    Since the pigment in red wines comes from keeping fermenting juice in contact with the grape skins for an extended period, it follows that a pink wine can be made using just a brief period of skin contact—usually just a couple of days. The resulting color will depend on the grape variety and the winemaking style, ranging from pale salmon to deep magenta. These wines are typically fresh and fruity, fermented at cool temperatures in stainless steel to preserve the primary aromas and flavors. Most rosé, with a few notable exceptions, should be drunk rather young, within a few years of the vintage.

    FRMGERBOUR_2013 Item# 143397