Thierry Germain Saumur-Champigny Les Memoires 2020


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“The 2020 Les Mémoires is a round and elegant Cabernet Franc. It’s a not-trying-hard wine that exudes a sense of calm and ease as it rolls around your mouth seamlessly. Maybe it’s the 100-year-old vines doing their thing. There’s no oak getting in the way, allowing the purity of fruit to shine. It remains true to its variety and place, while its light spice meets dark fruits. Forget the fruit flavors, this is all about refined texture and its fine, chalky, powdery veil of tannins lightly coating the palate. Long and textural, this is not a wine you’ll regret…Drinking window: 2024-2044. 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 range of wines from Domaine des Roches Neuves has a transparency, delicacy, and ease that you encounter too infrequently. Red wine represents the majority of production at this estate with vineyards scattered around the appellation but a lightness of touch and purity of fruit are common threads no matter the soil type, or orientation. The hands-off hand of Germain is clear, even at the ‘entry-level’ Saumur-Champigny, whose label changes color every year just to keep us confused. 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. You’ll 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 (08/22)