Thierry Merlin-Cherrier cultivates 14 hectares of prime vineyard in and around the commune of Bué in Sancerre. His domain includes a slice of the revered Garennes plot and one hectare in the renowned Chêne Marchand vineyard. Planted predominantly with Sauvignon Blanc and two hectares of Pinot Noir, the vines are sustainably cultivated according to the principles of la lutte raisonnée. Thierry’s wines are typical Bué, marrying good structure with an aromatic and tangy ripe blackcurrant character.
2017 was a classic Sancerre vintage and unlike many areas of the Loire, Domaine Merlin Cherrier’s vineyards were spared from the devastating spring frosts; resulting in normal yields. The 2017 wines are rich and intense, with wonderful citrus freshness and minerality.
Thierry works according to the principles of sustainable agriculture known in French as ‘la Lutte Raisonnée’. He has grassed the plots which sit on richer, heavier soils; and he keeps yields down and quality high by debudding in spring and cropthinning in summer for the Sauvignon Blanc grapes, wherever necessary. For the past five years he has been deleafing both his Sauvignon Blanc and his Pinot Noir vines in order to allow the wind and sun access to the bunches, which results in thicker, more resistant skins and therefore more flavour. The results are testament to this practice, in ever finer, more intensely aromatic whites and richer, more supple reds. The vineyard in Bué is spread across hard and soft limestone terroir, with pockets of marl, resulting in wines with excellent structure balanced by wonderful aromatics.