2018 Merlin-Cherrier Sancerre ‘Le Grand Chemarin’, Bué, Loire Valley, France

2018 Merlin-Cherrier Sancerre ‘Le Grand Chemarin’, Bué, Loire Valley, France



Announced as completely sold out, but the importer located 27 bottles in its warehouse, and we received all of them this last Friday!!! 😇

Thierry Merlin has several parcels in the quaint village of Bué in central Sancerre-Loire. The village sits at the bottom of what looks like an amphitheater of vines on the limestone hills flanking the village on three sides. Vineyard sites on the very tops of these hills are especially sought after for the Caillottes terroir (a very stony, compact chalk without a lot of clay and marl), and many lieu-dit sites are established there.  Along with the “Grand Cru” and emblematic Chêne Marchand, Thierry Merlin also organically farms another one of the most coveted vineyard sites, the Le Grand Chemarin which is situated on a higher northeastern facing plateau on extremely thin, fine top- soil, littered with small limestone pebbles (griottes).  Instead of blending this fruit into the classic cuvée, for the first time in 2018 Thierry Merlin decided to produce a single bottling; a special selection sourced from a three-acre parcel of Le Grand Chemarin.  Only 150 cases were produced.

Le Grand Chemarin’s 100% Sauvignon Blanc fermentation is indigenous and spontaneous, and half of the wine is raised in neutral Burgundian barrels, and the other half in stainless steel. The wine rests on its fine lees for up to 18 months.  No fining or cold stabilization, only a light filtration prior to bottling.

Tasted blind in a lineup of its peers, this sensational wine was our overall favorite!  The aromas were vibrant and zesty, citrus blossom-tinged, with an alpine-like, mountain air freshness and purity!  The palate was most impressive for its streamline seamlessness, and in two words, sublime elegance.  Essence of tropical fruit, nectarine and peach played with hints of lemon grass, and chive.  The lengthy finish was jettison by fresh cleansing acidity and an underlying saline minerality.  Absolutely loved IT!

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