Thierry Germain Saumur-Champigny La Marginale 2021


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“From a clay-limestone site, the 2021 La Marginale is simply delicious. It is a quiet seducer with it silky charm, while remaining floaty and light on its feet. There’s plenty of tannin contained within the core of this wine, coating the mouth finely. The long, fragrant finish is redolent of redcurrant, raspberry, violet and pencil lead. The 2021 is fresh and vibrant yet delicate. Drinking window: 2024-2033. 90 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 range of wines from Domaine des Roches Neuves has the transparency, delicacy and ease you encounter too infrequently. Red wine represents the majority of production at this estate, with vineyards scattered around the appellation. Still, a lightness of touch and purity of fruit are common threads, no matter the soil type or orientation. Even at the ‘entry-level’ Saumur Champigny, whose label changes color every year just to keep us confused, the hands-off hand of Germain 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 farming, the results speak for themselves.

While Louis Germain, Thierry’s son, called 2021 a nightmare, the resulting wines are some of the best in the region: charming, balanced and delicately poised. But that should be expected from this domaine.”

Rebecca Gibb, Vinous (01/24)