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Domaine Gérard Boulay Sancerre Comtesse 2022

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Domaine Gérard Boulay Sancerre Comtesse 2022
Producer Domaine Gérard Boulay
Region, Country Sancerre, France
Bottle Size 750ml
Product Code 24023-750

This rare bottling comes from just 0.4 hectares of 70-year-old vines in the Comtesse lieu-dit at the chalky epicentre of Les Monts-Damnés. For hundreds of years or more, locals have considered this vineyard the finest single terroir of Chavignol. According to Thibaut Boulay, the first mention of the ‘Montdampni’ appeared in documents held by the Abbaye de Saint-Satur in 1252. In his Le Vignoble de Chavignol, Thibaut then reminds us that at the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1878, the Comtesse lieu-dit was already considered a true star of the Sancerrois, its wines served on the most renowned tables of northern France. As another marker of its historical reverence, the Comtesse parcel was only grafted after 1945; before that, it remained the last ungrafted white vineyard in France, as La Romanée-Conti was for red grapes. 

The soil composition is pure Kimmeridgian limestone and consists of a miserly 30- to 40-centimetre layer of topsoil over solid limestone bedrock. This brings intense minerality and warmth as the rocky soil absorbs the sun’s heat and re-radiates it at night. Yet it is also a cooler, less exposed place, so it always produces fully ripe fruit and intense freshness while also finer and more restrained than a typical Monts-Damnés—hence, the historical fame. 

This has diamond-cut clarity allied to perfectly ripe fruit intensity that are the hallmark of this release—and there’s also something more elemental. Again, the sunny season has done nothing to blunt the razor-edge precision of this grower’s Sancerre. Marked by the soil rather than the sun, this wine often incorporates the greatest elements of all Boulay’s vineyards. It has a seductive texture and nectarine-like fruit, yet also thoroughbred restraint, great line, mineral clarity, and box-office chalky length. A Grand Cru in all but name, 20 years will not weary this astonishing young Sancerre. 

Domaine Gérard Boulay Sancerre Comtesse 2022

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