Thierry Germain Saumur-Champigny Franc de Pied 2019


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“Hailing from a sandy site planted in 2004, the 2019 Saumur Champigny Franc de Pied is the last wine that its maker Thierry Germain serves up. It’s like a fondant potato melting in your mouth with its silken ease; it has breadth too, although with the seeming weight of air. This is a touch savory, and a hint of leather sits in the background, but it adds rather than detracts from the complexity. Scented, lengthy finish. Drinking window: 2021-2033. 94 points

Thierry Germain might be a Bordelais by birth, but having ended up in Saumur-Champigny “par hasard,” he is now one of the appellation’s leading lights. The wines from Domaine des Roches Neuves have a transparency, delicacy, and ease that you encounter too infrequently. Red wine represents the majority of production at this estate, which owns vineyards scattered around the appellation, but lightness of touch and purity of fruit are common threads no matter the soil type or orientation. Even in the “entry-level” Saumur-Champigny, whose label changes color every year just to keep us confused, the hands-off approach is clear. You’re sure to be indoctrinated in the ways of biodynamics if you encounter the affable Germain, but whatever your thoughts on this method of farming, the results speak for themselves. Readers will find the wines on the market comparatively early. “A wine that is young should be good all its life – you shouldn’t have to wait five years; it’s like missing the first five years of child’s life.””

Rebecca Gibb, Vinous (10/21)