Ardèche, France

Samuel Boulay

Fricheti 2021



Fricheti 2021
Ardèche, France

A blend of two thirds Cabernet to one third Merlot, macerated for a fortnight each, pressed to their respective vats and blended the following spring. The blend is bottled in August and this cooler vintage has produced a comparatively compact and elegant wine which pairs brambly fruit and bitter herbs to beautiful effect.

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot


Originally from the Loire, Samuel worked for many years alongside the legendary Michel Augé of Les Maisons Brûlées, whilst quietly releasing some of the most original wines we have tasted from the region.

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. 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. There is a real sensitivity to his work and a sense of serenity pervades.

In the cellar he is a purist. He favours long, slow presses for both whites and reds and each wine is aged for as long as deemed necessary. Working without electricity, each wine is bottled by gravity with no additions and labelled by hand.

Samuel’s gentle and discrete nature makes for wines that possess an energy and harmony that are rare to find. These are complex, challenging wines which truly reward those who wait.