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Domaine des ROCHES NEUVES - Thierry Germain - Saumur Champigny

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Thierry Germain, one of the best winemakers of Saumur Champigny.

thierry-germain-roches-neuves-saumur-champigny-loireDomaine des ROCHES NEUVES by Thierry Germain has been renamed Saumur-Champigny for 10 years, still in biodynamics.

He has a "humanist" vision of viticulture, and his respect for the vine goes so far as to wind it up instead of carving it! Humanist but not mystical: this not to "attack" it, so that it does not enter into a new cycle additional foliar whose berries would be victims.

In the winery, each plot that deserves it (some of which have recently been acquired on the best terroirs of Saumur-Champigny) is vinified separately, giving the winemaker the opportunity to demonstrate all his talent: each vintage rivals the best French wines, In terms of complexity than on-call time.

Installed in 1993 (at 23 years), the Bordeaux Thierry Germain speaks of "thermal shock" about his arrival in the "sweet angevine". He gradually learned and developed a philosophy combining modernity and respect for the other, starting with Nature (by way of the plowing horse). Modernity is symbolized by its vision of the date of the grape harvest: "black = overmaturity = dead, color = life: pick up in the crunch, on the tension of the skins" It is necessary to dare! Equally modern is his vision of breeding under wood, now adapted to the objective of each wine (after many experiments): lightning sometimes vertical, sometimes round according to the color of the wine, barrels if necessary ... all with sparingly.

Tireless and brimming with projects, Thierry Germain has always managed his estate with Michel Chevret (who also signs his own wine: Les Ecotards), and more recently with Philippe and Eric. He also receives occasional help from young "admirers" who have come to draw inspiration from his philosophy ... young people he will later help to settle, as he has done in the past.

All the wines of the domain are Saumur Champigny organic, except for a white wine Saumur organic.

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate : Thierry Germain has lead the Domaine des Roches Neuves to become one of the finest wine producers in the entire Loire valley, and surely to become one of the top red wine domaines in Saumur; although, the Chenin Blancs are also more than remarkable. Based in Varrains, Germain cultivates almost 29 hectares of vines, of which 26 hectares are planted with Cabernet Franc, according biodynamic principles. His wines have a fascinating ripeness intertwined with beautifully floral flavors. Although the wines are smooth, intense and concentrated on the palate, they are perfectly balanced, full of finesse and refreshing vitality. "This is thanks to the earlier ripening of the grapes, as well as the lower must weight and pH levels, which is an effect of our vineyard work," says Germain, who is in particular proud of his 2014 vintage, which he names a "grand millésime." He continues, "Admittedly, the early summer was rather average, but the crucial months of August and September were beautiful to give perfectly ripe grapes with moderate potential alcohol levels—which is our goal in every year." According to Germain, 2014 will find its place in history due to the "freshness and vitality" of the wines. To study the Germain philosophy of terroir-driven and enjoyable wines, I recommend tasting three top Cabernet Francs side by side. The refined Franc de Pied is from sandy soils and was fermented for eight days with whole clusters and raised in 12-hectoliter vats (foudres). The chalky Clos de l Echelier is from a very poor, chalky terroir, and was femented for 20 days before the aging in oval-shaped, 12-hectoliter vats. The deep, intense and mineral Saumur-Champigny Les Mémoires is from a silex terroir, fermented for 18 days and then aged in a round 25-hecoliter vat. Among the Chenins, try the fascinatingly pure and salty, yet dense and concentrated 2014 Saumur Clos Romans!

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