Dumpster Diving for Wine
Are you familiar with the heart-stopping panic of trying a new wine, completely falling for it, and returning to the wine store to find that it’s OUT OF STOCK? And not available online??! My most recent experience with this was after I opened Thierry Germain Domaine des Roches Neuves Saumur-Champigny Cuvee Domaine 2016. Both a mouthful of words and delicious, seductive juice. I was basking in the ignorance of this wine being available for me to purchase again and I didn’t take any tasting notes. As blissful as can be, I merely remarked to myself that it was so fresh, complex, and that it got better with each sip. When I checked the stock of it online a few days later, I learned that it had sold out. I literally dug the bottle out of the recycling bin to gather all of the info from it and still couldn’t find it available on the interwebz. Thankfully, my horror was short-lived because the wine shop was able to special order some more for me. Whew!
Without further ado, allow me to introduce you to the wine that sent me into the dumpster. Firstly, it’s imported by Kermit Lynch, which is the gold standard for great wines in the biodynamic and natural realm, so if you’re ever trying to decide between wines, always choose a Kermit. Thierry Germain is the man behind Domaine des Roches Neuves, which he founded after moving from Bordeaux to the Loire Valley when he was in his early 20s. Know what I was doing in my early 20s? Drawing cat whiskers on my face at warehouse raves in Brooklyn. Instead of doing things like that, Thierry was busy purchasing parcels of vines, converting his domaine to be fully biodynamic, establishing himself as a legit winemaker, and all around just making the rest of us 20-somethings look bad.
Thierry’s father was the owner and winemaker at Clos Rougeard, a legend in the region of Saumur-Champigny and an inspiration to Thierry to follow biodynamic principles. Thierry cultivates his grapes from old vines; the youngest are at least 25 years old. His domaine has 30 parcels of vines, all of which are harvested only by hand and the grapes from each parcel are fermented separately, which would give any winemaker serious control over a blend. I’m sure this is part of the reason that his wines are so precise.
The Saumur-Champigny appellation of the Loire Valley is suited so perfectly for growing Cabernet Franc and produces bold, yet elegant red wines. Thierry’s Cuvee Domaine has so much finesse and elegance that it could easily be mistaken for a really lovely Pinot Noir. This wine is all berries and herbs with a medium body and solid acidity that makes it even more drinkable. It expresses aromas and flavors of black cherry, dark raspberry, tobacco, and pepper that seem to sing. This is a really beautiful wine that is so delicious you’ll keep absentmindedly refilling your glass. Good thing it’s biodynamic or you’d regret that the next morning ;)
Thierry Germain Domaine des Roches Neuves Saumur-Champigny Cuvee Domaine 2016
Region: Loire Valley (Saumur-Champigny)
Grape: Cabernet Franc