Thierry Germain Saumur-Champigny Terres Chaudes 2021


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“First tasted in barrel in July 2023, and again from bottle in December, the 2021 Terres Chaudes is a highly aromatic, light-bodied style although there is a touch of juiciness through the mid-palate. True to its vintage, there’s no doubting the refreshing acidity and the touch of herbal in the flavor profile. The tannins are well handled, and the fruit is pure and adulterated, as well as lightly spiced. Drinking window: 2024-2029. 89 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)