2019 Merlin-Cherrier Sancerre ‘Le Grand Chemarin’, Bué, Loire Valley, France – NEW VINTAGE

2019 Merlin-Cherrier Sancerre ‘Le Grand Chemarin’, Bué, Loire Valley, France – NEW VINTAGE



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.  The 2019 vintage is the second release of Le Grand Chemarin.  Again, only 150 cases were produced.  

We “milk & cookied” this Loire Valley gem last night with Renee’s rainbow chard-jarlsberg cheese frittata.  Glorious!!

Le Grand Chemarin is a 100% Sauvignon Blanc spontaneous fermentation from indigenous vineyard yeast.  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.

Again!  The aromas are fresh, vivid, and zesty; citrus blossom-tinged, with high elevation mountain-like freshness and purity!  The palate is streamline, nicely textured and lilting.  Essence of stone fruits like nectarine and peach mingle with hints of lemon grass, and chive.  The lengthy finish is extended by fresh cleansing acidity and an underlying saline minerality.  Can’t wait to double slurp again with fresh shucked oyster.


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