Wine of the Year

Dear Friends,

Year 2011 was a memorable one for me.

So many new faces, places and moments etched into my personal triptik of building blocks that I could hardly keep track of them all. Defining moments were aplenty in 2011 and, for that, I am not only wiser and slightly more weathered but always grateful for life and its never-ending opportunity to learn.

I will return in the coming days with a list of my top experiences, retailers, food and other notable items of interest in 2011 but, for now, we focus on the one wine that rose above all others (for me) during the past 12 months.

While my affinity usually runs to red wine, I can be coerced and convinced by a whiter shade of pale in my glass (with or without effervescence). For a white wine to impress me above my top red contenders, it must go the extra mile, beyond that of its red wine compatriots. That is not what I would call fair, as all wine should be on the same level playing field (regardless of race, creed or color) but, that should tell you how special my wine of the year is.

Gerard Boulay’s 2010 Sancerre Comtesse was the finest wine I tasted this year (red or white). It is not only the finest Sancerre of the vintage but (taking price/value/rarity/ageability into account) it was my top dry white wine in all of France (even 2010 examples of Chablis Les Clos could not overtake its preeminence – for me, the Les Clos vineyard produced fabulous and worthy wine in 2010 just a notch below the sparkling brilliance of Comtesse).

In 2010, Boulay’s Comtesse is such a noble and elegant wine that you burst out laughing while sipping its electric wavelength of green-tinged splendor. The Comtesse has opposites that attract like a horseshoe magnet that pulls mineral and rock shavings from places well on their way to the unknown depths of the earth’s wise and crusted core. The lithe and feline scents of lime, stone (limestone?), cactus, juniper and white tea are so pure, the experience can make the oenophile wince and take a necessary step back to gather composure. The palate will be graded as perfect by some but that is beside the point (numerical scores seem incongruous with a wine this expansive, in both mind and body). Obviously special from the first sip, the 2010 Comtesse is wrapped in a muscle-bound, nearly impossible/endless mélange of weightless textural harmony and sifted/solid/rolling rock that it is truly something to behold. It caused Velo to jump off his Schwinn and scream “Stony, gone to stones. Feels like standing under a landslide - Beware falling rocks! What power on the rocks! What length!”...and that was after the bottle had been open for seven days (yes, an entire week without oxidation). The alcohol is low (13.0%), the thrills are high and its overall potential in the cellar may outlive this ageing scribe.

With a wine such as this, the danger is that your initial experience will never live up to the second and third encounter – I'm happy to report that (after my third bottle over several months), my enthusiasm has never wavered.

In year 2011, Gerard Boulay gave the most with what he had – his entire portfolio is more than worthy of your investment but it is this wine, his finest hour, that has a chance to be remembered in Loire annals as one of the exemplary examples of Sancerre ever produced.

Yes, I'm quite comfortable making that statement.

VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for its ability to not only rise above every other wine I tasted in 2011 but to do so with confidence and the necessary muscle in reserve for a long and winding road ahead.

This parcel is directly from Boulay’s cellar with the finest provenance available.

FIRST COME FIRST SERVED up to 12/person until we run out:

2010 Gerard Boulay Sancerre “Comtesse” (Loire)
(this is not Paul Thomas; compare at $46-80+; if we run out, a small parcel is available in NY as well...but I would be expeditious – I have a feeling any US stock will be gone within a few days) an added bonus, we also have a VERY SMALL parcel of Boulay’s new top-end Sancerre cuvee “La Cote” (yes, from the same old-vine vineyard as Cotat’s Le Grande Cote) - there is so little of this wine that I cannot go into detail but (if we run out) you should be able to find a few dozen cases in NY as well. I will say, if the 2010 Comtesse did not exist, Boulay’s 2010 La Cote would be the preeminent example engaging you with its rapture. In a nutshell, it’s another stunning bottle of Sauvignon with more overt power and ripeness than the Comtesse but no loss of finesse, stone or sway. It is quite different than the Comtesse but it would be educational and fascinating to study over the next 10-15 years...EXTREMELY LIMITED...

2010 Gerard Boulay Sancerre “La Cote” (Loire)

To order either of the above:

This parcel is set to arrive in 2-3 weeks (please check OARS for local pick-up in late Jan/early Feb). It will ship during the Spring shipping season. California, the Southeast and Southwest will ship in Feb.

Out of state orders will be held for free under ideal storage conditions (56 degrees/70%humidity) until shipping is possible. Locals may pick up at their leisure.

For current local pick up and arrival/ship information, please see your OARS link below (at the bottom of this offer) - don’t know how to access your OARS? Simply click the link and see your account. You can also paste the link into your browser. If you are having trouble with your link or your account, please contact:


Thank you,

Jon Rimmerman
Seattle, WA