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2020 Saumur Champigny “Outre Terre”

Thierry Germain

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Thierry Germain bottles two amphora releases, the labels of which artistically allude to the ancient, egg-shaped vessel. Outre Terre is a tiny production of Cabernet Franc fermented in amphora and aged in barrel. This vintage’s savory notes of cedar bark and juniper mellow into velvety fruit with a touch of bitter orange. Earthy dishes such as butter beans and wild mushrooms with plenty of garlic and herbs will coax out the wine’s especially lush qualities.

Allyson Noman

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Technical Information
Wine Type: red
Vintage: 2020
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Cabernet Franc
Appellation: Saumur-Champigny
Country: France
Region: Loire
Producer: Thierry Germain
Winemaker: Thierry Germain
Vineyard: 20 years, .6 ha
Soil: Clay, Limestone
Aging: Aged in 12 months in barrel
Farming: Biodynamic (certified)
Alcohol: 13.5%

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About The Region

Loire

map of Loire

The defining feature of the Loire Valley, not surprisingly, is the Loire River. As the longest river in France, spanning more than 600 miles, this river connects seemingly disparate wine regions. Why else would Sancerre, with its Kimmeridgian limestone terroir be connected to Muscadet, an appellation that is 250 miles away?

Secondary in relevance to the historical, climatic, environmental, and cultural importance of the river are the wines and châteaux of the Jardin de la France. The kings and nobility of France built many hundreds of châteaux in the Loire but wine preceded the arrival of the noblesse and has since out-lived them as well.

Diversity abounds in the Loire. The aforementioned Kimmderidgian limestone of Sancerre is also found in Chablis. Chinon, Bourgueil, and Saumur boast the presence of tuffeau, a type of limestone unique to the Loire that has a yellowish tinge and a chalky texture. Savennières has schist, while Muscadet has volcanic, granite, and serpentinite based soils. In addition to geologic diversity, many, grape varieties are grown there too: Cabernet Franc, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, and Melon de Bourgogne are most prevalent, but (to name a few) Pinot Gris, Grolleau, Pinot Noir, Pineau d’Aunis, and Folle Blanche are also planted. These myriad of viticultural influences leads to the high quality production of every type of wine: red, white, rosé, sparkling, and dessert.

Like the Rhône and Provence, some of Kermit’s first imports came from the Loire, most notably the wines of Charles Joguet and Château d’Epiré—two producers who are featured in Kermit’s book Adventures on the Wine Route and with whom we still work today.

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Old cob-webbed wine bottles

Living wines have ups and downs just as people do, periods of glory and dog days, too. If wine did not remind me of real life, I would not care about it so much.

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