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Fill out your info and we will notify you when the 2018 Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil “Irène” Domaine de la Chanteleuserie is back in stock or when a new vintage becomes available.

2018 Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil “Irène”

Domaine de la Chanteleuserie

The siege is over at last. After years of asking Thierry and Christine Boucard for their lone cuvée from Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil, they have finally sent us a small shipment. You might have two questions: Why not until now? And what makes their Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil wine different from their Bourgueil bottlings?
     To answer the first: the appetite in France for great wines from the Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil appellation has been ravenous and the Boucards have made just enough of this wine to satisfy their compatriots. Besides, they have kept us more than happy with their Bourgueil AOC cuvées, some of the most dependable and delicious values we import, so we couldn’t really complain. Which brings me to answer the second question: what’s different about this wine?
     Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil lies just to the west of Bourgueil, home to the rest of the Boucards’ wines, all made from Cabernet Franc. The Bourgueil “Beauvais” comes from a clay-and-limestone terroir that is seen as an unofficial grand cru by the local producers. It is the most structured and built for the (very) long haul. The Bourgueil “Alouettes,” meanwhile, with its bright red fruit and soft tannins, screams “dangerously downable bistro wine!”
     Our new cuvée, the Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil “Irène”, comes from 30-year-old vines in sandy gravel and achieves an irresistible balance between the two Bourgueils. With blackberries, blueberries, graphite, and pine rising seductively from the glass, it has the inherent charm to drink beautifully on its own, but it also has the spine and finesse to stand up to roast meats, braises, stews, and grilled vegetables. A dual threat, in other words.
     If you want to experience the evolution of this outstanding value, I suggest getting six bottles or a case to enjoy its progress over the next three years. You’ll be amazed by what’s in your glass and what you paid for it.

Tom Wolf

Wine Type: red
Vintage: 2018
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Cabernet Franc
Appellation: Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil
Country: France
Region: Loire
Producer: Domaine de la Chanteleuserie
Vineyard: 3 ha, 30 years old
Soil: Sand, gravel
Farming: Lutte Raisonnée
Alcohol: 13%

More from this Producer or Region

About Loire

map of Loire

The defining feature of the Loire Valley, not surprisingly, is the Loire River. As the longest river in France, spanning more than 600 miles, this river connects seemingly disparate wine regions. Why else would Sancerre, with its Kimmeridgian limestone terroir be connected to Muscadet, an appellation that is 250 miles away?

Secondary in relevance to the historical, climatic, environmental, and cultural importance of the river are the wines and châteaux of the Jardin de la France. The kings and nobility of France built many hundreds of châteaux in the Loire but wine preceded the arrival of the noblesse and has since out-lived them as well.

Diversity abounds in the Loire. The aforementioned Kimmderidgian limestone of Sancerre is also found in Chablis. Chinon, Bourgueil, and Saumur boast the presence of tuffeau, a type of limestone unique to the Loire that has a yellowish tinge and a chalky texture. Savennières has schist, while Muscadet has volcanic, granite, and serpentinite based soils. In addition to geologic diversity, many, grape varieties are grown there too: Cabernet Franc, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, and Melon de Bourgogne are most prevalent, but (to name a few) Pinot Gris, Grolleau, Pinot Noir, Pineau d’Aunis, and Folle Blanche are also planted. These myriad of viticultural influences leads to the high quality production of every type of wine: red, white, rosé, sparkling, and dessert.

Like the Rhône and Provence, some of Kermit’s first imports came from the Loire, most notably the wines of Charles Joguet and Château d’Epiré—two producers who are featured in Kermit’s book Adventures on the Wine Route and with whom we still work today.

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For the wines that I buy I insist that the winemaker leave them whole, intact. I go into the cellars now and select specific barrels or cuvées, and I request that they be bottled without stripping them with filters or other devices. This means that many of our wines will arrive with a smudge of sediment and will throw a more important deposit as time goes by, It also means the wine will taste better.

Kermit once said...

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