Sancerre Grand Cru: 2016 Boulay Sancerre La Côte

Posted by Ian McFadden

Among the vineyards of Sancerre, La Grande Côte is king.

Gérard Boulay's Sancerres are some of my favorite expressions of the appellation. I was really excited in 2010 when Boulay debuted La Côte, which is from a choice parcel in Grande Côte. It immediately became one of the most impressive wines in Sancerre.

2016 is a fascinating vintage for Sancerre and Boulay's wines are some of the top examples. Boulay's 2016s combine a grand scale with a rigorous, mineral-laden architecture.

The vintage distilled and amplified Grande Côte's always commanding presence. Expect a powerfully elegant wine with a cool-toned profile and a nervy and taut mineral core.

The Boulay family has held land in Sancerre for over 600 years. Along with Vatan and the Cotat cousins, Boulay produces some of the most elegant, complex and long-lived Sancerre.

Where Vatan and the Cotats are dense and layered Sancerres that demand bottle age, Boulay stands out for its drinkability, poise and finessed precision. We've tasted Boulay's wines several decades old, and a very impressive 1959. As dazzling as Boulay can be young, it stands the test of time in an impressive way.

La Grande Côte is in Chavignol, which is Sancerre's best area and one defined by its soil. Chavignol shares the same Kimmeridgian soil as the Chablis' top sites. Sancerres from Chavignol possess an emphatic chalky minerality and kinetic energy.

The La Côte is the deepest and most intricately composed of Boulay's wines. It possesses a powerful and persistent minerality that's simultaneously stony and salty. There's explosive notes of herbs, citrus, and flowers. The 2016 is noteworthy for its tactile grip, finesse and shimmering clarity.

Boulay is a really personal wine for me. Every vintage I stash a pile in my cellar. I'm very excited to watch the 2016 La Côte evolve. It promises to be profound.

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Ian McFadden

Director, Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits