Domaine Des Roches Neuves
Having developed his style, evolving towards greater precision and freshness, Thierry Germain and his Roches Neuves has become one of the most well-regarded domains in the Loire valley. Thierry Germain has been a partner of ours for many years now, and we are extremely proud to work with such an exacting winemaker. A must-have!
Thierry Germain was born into a family of winemakers whose work was Bordeaux inspired. Having almost bought a domain in Hungary, he ended up buying the Domaine des Roches Neuves in Varrains and moved there in 1992. The domain grew in popularity very quickly, both for his red cuvées of Saumur-Champigny and his white Saumur. The style was at the time marked by a Bordelais style: heavily extracted and oaky red, demonstrative whites. A style that was enjoyed by his customers but not the winemaker, in the end!
In the early 2000s, Thierry Germain therefore reconsidered everything. From 2002, he reconverted the entire domain (22 hectares) to biodynamics. Inspired by the vine-training techniques used by Lalou Bize-Leroy of the mythical Burgundy domain, Thierry German (and his right-hand man Michel Chevret) stopped trimming his vines, which encourages the plant to work for its fruits more than its leaves and givens balance to the grapes, which end up being less rich in alcohol and richer in substance. These practical changes to the vine were accompanied by a new style of vinification. Gone are the days of very ripe – overripe, even – grapes. The freshness of the fruit and delicacy of the substance are now sought after, with earlier, more attentive harvests.
This change in style may have put off a handful of fans of his earlier wines, but it more importantly allowed Domaine des Roches Neuves to gain further recognition from critics and wine enthusiasts, who have a growing tendency to appreciate wines which you can drink, and not solely wines for tasting.