Thierry Germain made the move away from the Gironde to the Loire Valley in 1991, taking possession of Domaine des Roches Neuves in Varrains, just on the outskirts of Saumur. The vineyard is worked in a natural way -3 horses help- with the goal of keeping the vine and the soil at its healthiest, and is fully biodynamic since the 2005 vintage. The harvest is manual, selecting grapes at their very ripest level. Vinification is handled in small batches then bottling unfined and unfiltered. Germain has garnered praise in the European press for his exciting wines, which are always filled with ripe, generous fruit and supple textures.
The 2016 Saumur Champigny Franc de Pied is from pure sandy soils and very small grapes, macerated with whole bunches for 10 days, and bottled with 11.8% alcohol. (“Since 2008, I haven’t harvested above 12% alcohol but with the best maturity,“ Thierry says.) Generously warm and fruity on the very elegant and alluring nose, this is a very intense and charming, wide and beautifully balanced Cabernet Franc with concentrated and perfectly ripe fruit, very fine tannins and a silky texture. The finish is fruity and still charming. A lovely Cabernet Franc! [93 Points, Stephan Reinhardt – October 2021, robertparker.com]