Gérard Boulay, 2016 Update

There are very few domaines in Sancerre where I would buy blind. There are plenty that make excellent wine but, with such a broad range of vignerons and cuvées to choose from, for my own drinking I tend only to buy wines I have either already tasted and rated highly, or those from a very small and select number of domaines where I am prepared to go in ‘blind’. Gérard Boulay, a very humble vigneron based in a small facility on the road leading from Sancerre up to Chavignol (he moved here from the centre of the village a few years ago), is one such vigneron. Gérard, in my experience, doesn’t seem able to put a foot wrong. And the great thing about his wines is that you and I can still afford to buy and drink them without fear that the next day the postman will be pushing angry reprimands from our bank managers through the letterbox.

Gérard Boulay

Gérard is one of several examples of a price paradox that I have seen up and down the Loire Valley; his are some of the best wines in the appellation, and yet they are far from the most expensive. I have also found this to be true of some of my favourite wines in the Pouilly-Fumé, Savennières and Saumur appellations. For the Loire Valley, I think a domaine only attains fame when it has been ‘endorsed’ by a globally influentially publication with very high scores, or a detailed write up. This brings the domaine to the attention of its readers who are otherwise more interested in the really famous regions such as Bordeaux, Burgundy, the Napa Valley and so on. Gérard Boulay, to the best of my knowledge, has so far been overlooked by such influential publications. The question is, why? I have come up with a few (hopefully) plausible thoughts on why this might be.

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