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Roches Neuves (Thierry Germain), Saumur Blanc Clos Romans, 2013


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Thierry Germain purchased Domaine des Roches Neuves back in 1991, but it wasn't until he felt the influence of fellow Saumur winemaker Charly Foucault (Clos Rougeard) years later that he began to find what he feels is his true path. He eventually converted to biodynamics under the direction of François Bouchet, who also guided top Bugundy domaines like Romanee-Conti, Leflaive, and Leroy.

In the decade or so since, Germain's wines have dramatically shot up in quality. Catapulting Roches Neuves to its current status as an elite Loire Valley address. Here are world-class wines in both red and white, made with an approach to viticulture to and terroir-expression which has exerted a huge influence on a younger generation of winemakers. The man is an icon.

Professional Reviews

Antonio Galloni

AG 91
"100 percent Chenin Blanc rooted in the clos of a priory that dates back to the 11th century. The soil consists of a 30cm layer of sandy clay over limestone bedrock called Pierres de Champigny, the rock that was used to build the Château Champigny. Germain acquired this historic site in 2007 and has been steadily replanting at a density of 10,000 vines/hectare (Germain practices selection massale, mixing plants to ensure he does not get a monodimensional profile of this terroir. Handpicked grapes are fermented for two months in a single 400-litre oval cask. After pressing, the wine is raised for nine months on the fine lees. Lying in Parnay, just outside Saumur (heading towards Chinon) and overlooking the river, the Clos Romans is a site Germain describes with boyish enthusiasm, as 'magic'. The wine it creates certainly has an enchanted feel that is hard to pin down. This is dramatically tense, crystalline, mineral-bound and oh so pure Chenin Blanc at its very finest. In it you can picture the piercing spine of François Chidaine's Vouvray, the structured flesh of a top dry Riesling from the banks of the Rhine, and a little sprinkling of 'magic'. White wine doesn't get much more thrilling than this. Pale yellow. Apricot, honeydew melon and white pepper on the nose, along with a hint of anise. Full-bodied, concentrated and slightly phenolic, with considerable power. Flavors of ripe yellow apple and wet rock are balanced on a taut line of refreshing acidity, with salty minerals lingering on the finish. Its reputation will certainly improve as the vines mature." -Vinous


  • Grape Variety

    Chenin Blanc

  • Vintage


  • Size


  • Farming Practice


  • Sweetness


  • Body

    Medium Bodied

Customer Reviews

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