Samuel Boulay

Vallée de l’Ibie, Ardèche

Originally from the Loire, having worked for many years alongside the legendary Michel Augé of Les Maisons Brûlées, in 2013 Samuel moved to Les Salelles, a small village on the banks of the River Ibie in a particularly beautiful part of the Ardèche.

Here, he farms five hectares of old vineyards which are surrounded by forest, planted over clay and limestone and visibly teem with life. Samuel doesn’t cut the grass between the rows and treats the vines only with homoeopathic treatments according to the moon’s cycle and there is a beautiful serenity to Samuel’s work in the vines.

In the cellar he is a purist. The wines are aged in old oak barrels for several years and unusually, are not topped up at any stage. Working without electricity, they are bottled by gravity with no additions and labelled by hand.

Samuel’s gentle and discrete nature makes for wines of rare purity which possess an energy, harmony and nourishing quality that is incredibly compelling. Often displaying a profound density of fruit in their youth, his complex, challenging wines truly reward those who wait.