Experience the magic of Thierry's more mature bottles with an exclusive sampler of these Saumur treasures.
I often have difficulty writing about great wines. They’re so much more than a shopping list of aromas and flavors, but nonetheless leave a visceral and lasting impression. After Kermit once shared some marvelous old white Burgundies from his cellar with us I wrote him and said that the better the wine, the shorter my tasting notes seem to get, and I felt a bit sheepish about that. After all, we’ve all read the florid peans to the world’s great wines. Whole books even. What’s wrong with me that I can only scratch out “wow!” or “unbelievable!”? Kermit wrote back and said that I shouldn’t sweat it. One of his favorite influences, Lucien Peyraud of Domaine Tempier, never had lengthy tasting notes. His highest praise was “Ça, c'est du vrai vin.” That’s real wine. Well, Thierry Germain’s wines from Domaine des Roches Neuves are the real deal. His Cabernet Francs from Saumur-Champigny are models of purity, finesse, and drinkability, while avoiding rusticity, vegetal character, and hard tannins. Think of a cross between old-school Bordeaux and fine red Burgundy. When it comes to Chenin Blanc, Thierry’s Saumurs are bone-dry, high-acid, mineral whites that drink like Chablis young and take on weight slowly over time. From white and red, young or old, these wines are as pure and as profound as any I’ve ever had. In other words, wow. Having only begun working with Thierry in 2016, we sourced this tranche of older vintages from the domaine’s previous west coast importer and assembled an exclusive offering of these treasures so that you can experience the magic of Thierry's more mature bottles. We are confident that the late, great Lucien Peyraud would consider them vrai vin. We certainly do.
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.
Every three or four months I would send my clients a cheaply made list of my inventory, but it began to dawn on me that business did not pick up afterwards. It occurred to me that my clientele might not know what Château Grillet is, either. One month in 1974 I had an especially esoteric collection of wines arriving, so I decided to put a short explanation about each wine into my price list, to try and let my clients know what to expect when they uncorked a bottle. The day after I mailed that brochure, people showed up at the shop, and that is how these little propaganda pieces for fine wine were born.—Kermit Lynch
Drinking distilled spirits, beer, coolers, wine and other alcoholic beverages may increase cancer risk, and, during pregnancy, can cause birth defects. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/alcohol
Many food and beverage cans have linings containing bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical known to cause harm to the female reproductive system. Jar lids and bottle caps may also contain BPA. You can be exposed to BPA when you consume foods or beverages packaged in these containers. For more information, go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/bpa