Thierry Germain, Les Roches, Samur Champigny 2016

75cl Domaine Roches Neuves, Thierry Germain Cabernet Franc France > Loire Spicy, robust and punchy Reds
Thierry Germain produces this wonderful Cabernet Franc from the Loire Valley, a perfect balance of crisply defined red fruit, fresh acidity, and silky tannins. “Thierry’s cuvées provide the rare combination of intellectual stimulation with unbridled sensory gratification—they are hard not to like, no matter how much you choose to nerd out.” Anthony Lynch

To say that Thierry Germain’s Domaine des Roches Neuves is one of the more exciting new-wave growers of the Loire Valley is to grossly understate the case. He is, in fact, now one of the most exciting producers in the whole of France. With the momentum of a freight train, Germain is a grower who today is producing wines of such quality and authenticity that they cannot be ignored. These are the kind of wines that remind us why the almost forgotten AOC’s of Saumur and Saumur-Champigny in the central Loire were once so famous. They are tremendously pure, energetic and delicious wines, and they are, along with the wines of producers like Clos Rougeard & Romain Guiberteau, putting Saumur back on the fine wine map.
I first encountered Thierry in 2009 at La Dive, the big two day underground tasting of Natural Wines which used to be held at Chateau de Breze at the end of January (Its now held annually at the Caves Ackerman in Saumur). I have witnessed, over the years, a major change in the style of wine produced by Thierry. While the wines were always top notch, Thierry began to use less new oak preferring to age the wines in large “foudre”. Earlier picking was employed and he has shortened maceration times in order to achieve more freshness and an expression of the chalky terroir of Saumur Champigny. Thierry is now also fully committed to Biodynamic farming practices in order to produce these delicious, intense expressions of Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc.
In recent years these efforts were vindicated when Thierry was selected as one of La Revue du Vin de France’s ‘vignerons de monde’ in 2011. From seemingly nowhere, Domaine des Roches Neuves has emerged as one of France’s icon biodynamic Estates.

“Passionate, headstrong winegrower Thierry Germain has been working on the potential in this terroir since 1992. The vineyard is dedicated to the production of white Saumur and Saumur-Champigny wines, sourced from vines planted in tuffeau-based clay and limestone soils. Viticulture is now fully biodynamic. An energetic performance overall, aimed at freshness and peak ripeness.

Michel Bettane, Bettane and Desseauve’s Guide to the Wines of France 2011

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