2021 Thierry Germain – Domaine des Roches Neuves, Saumur Champigny, Cuvée Domaine, Loire Valley, France.
The latest 2021 releases from Thierry Germain, one of the Loire Valley’s most exciting producers, are traditional and classic efforts, with this 2021 Cuvée Domaine Saumur Champigny Rouge, 100% organic Cabernet Franc, showing beautiful right away with lovely aromatics, fresh acidity, bright red fruits, mineral tones and savory spice. This wine comes from all estate vines, farmed using biodynamic methods, which range from 4 to 70 years old and are set on a mix of sand, clay and the famous chalky tuffeau limestone, which imparts a terroir influence on the wines. The palate is lean and crisp, but shows off red berry, plum, currant, cranberry and cherry fruits with a pretty lighter body, along with a hint of bell pepper, cinnamon, anise and earthy stony elements. This is a highly quaffable Cab Franc, with a ruby/purple and garnet color and a delicately floral bouquet, that is most rewarding with food, that allows for a richer feel and a bit more depth. This bottling from Domaine des Roches Neuves was made using 100% de-stemed grapes that see a stainless steel fermentation with a gentle maceration and light pump-overs lasting about 10 days before pressing to a combination of stainless vats and neutral large wood tanks where it ages a very short time on the fine lees, just about 4 months without any addition of sulfur, to preserve its natural freshness.

Thierry Germain, a Bordeaux native who relocated to the Loire about 30 years ago and soon fell under the spell of his spiritual father, the legendary Charly Foucault of Clos Rougeard, who influenced Germain’s wines and vines, converting his entire domaine, which he founded in 1992, to biodynamic viticulture, helping him to become one of the region’s super stars. Again, as mentioned in my prior reviews, Kermit Lynch, the famous importer, says that Thierry Germain’s Domaine Roches Neuves has vines, that are old, wise, and vibrantly healthy, thanks to Thierry’s biodynamic viticulture and fantastic attention to detail in the vineyards and in the cellar. Lynch goes on, adding that, Roches Neuves, whose vineyards are planted in the Saumur (Blanc) and Saumur-Champigny (Rouge) appellations, has rightfully become one of the greatest examples of high achievement in biodynamic vine growing in France. This puts him up there with the greats, that Kermit also imports, like Abbatucci in Corsica, Ganevat in the Jura and Domaine Ostertag in Alsace. Thierry Germain’s total dedication to site specific wines, some of the most distinctive Loire wines are hand-crafted from Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc grapes, which Kermit calls his “parcellaires,” they are very noteworthy offerings, some of the most exciting wines in the Loire Valley today, all of which I totally agree with. As I’ve said, I love these Germain wines, especially the Saumur-Champigny “Roche” (blue label) and this one, which are both exceptional values, along with Thierry’s top tier wines, with his profound Saumur-Champigny “Mémoires” and Saumur-Champigny “Marginale” being two that should not be missed.
($32 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

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