Samuel Boulay

Samuel Boulay was originally from the Loire Valley but recently he has moved to the Ardeche to take over some of the vineyards run by Gilles Azzoni for the past thirty years.

We first tried his wines at a salon in the tiny village of Chassignolles in the Auvergne and we loved the wines that we tasted.

So, recently we undertook the very pleasant drive from Provence up into the Ardèche. The road provides spectacular views, first of the Rhone Valley, then the deep gorges carved into the mountains by fast flowing rivers in the Reserve Naturelle des Gorges de l'Ardèche and finally the meandering valley of the Ibie river with its characteristic white limestone rock deposits beside crystal-clear pools.

The Ibie River in the Ard├Ęche

Samuel lives in the tiny village of Les Salèlles right beside the Ibie river. He has vineyards right beside his house and more down by the river with still more on the other side of the heavily forested hills.

We arrived to a scene of rural self-sufficiency. Honey dripping into a bowl from hives at the foot of the nearby forest, healthy chooks hunting for scraps of food in the grass and dogs lazily enjoying the winter sunshine.

Our welcoming committee

 

We only have a few dozen of each of these beautiful and rare wines and they will be in heavy demand, so make sure you put your order in soon.

Samuel Boulay Vin de France Les Damoiselle 2015

This lively white wine, named after the dragonflies that fly freely through the vineyard, is made from 100% Viognier with the grapes manually harvested from vines that are literally a few metres from Samuel's house.

When we walk through his vineyards we see herbs and flowers and butterflies everywhere signalling the health of the soil and the general environment in this remote part of the Ardeche.

This wine is incredibly elegant without the excessively oily characteristics that typify some of the wines made from this grape in the northern Rhone. The wine unfolds beautifully in the glass to reveal flower, stonefruit and citrus aromas with a long, lingering finish. We recently drank a bottle of this wine over a week to see how it held up and it just kept getting better and better as the week progressed. Not bad for a wine that has had absolutely no sulphites added!

Samuel is a very special winemaker.

RRP: $71

Samuel Boulay Vin de France Baltringue 2015

Like many of his compatriots in the French natural wine movement, Samuel loves to ascribe names to his wines that have many levels of meaning.

The name Baltringue seems to have originally come from the circus and refers to a person who organises the show but does not perform any of the feats. It also refers to someone who claims they can do anything but never actually gets around to it.

This red wine is made from around 95% Merlot with a small addition of Viognier. It is lively, fresh and very moorish with the Viognier adding a hint of stonefruit.

As with all of Samuel's wines, this one has no added sulphites, but he manages to ensure that his wines do not fall apart once the bottle is opened.

RRP: $63

 

 

Tasmanian Licence No: 58292

WARNING

Under the Liquor Licensing Act 1990 it is an offence:

for alcohol to be delivered to a person under the age of 18 years.

Penalty: Fine not exceeding 20 penalty units ($3,080 as at, July 2015)

for a person under the age of 18 years to purchase liquor.

Penalty: Fine not exceeding 10 penalty units ($1,540 as at, July 2015)