Thierry Germain’s Cabernet Franc

by Russ Anderson on June 14, 2018

Cabernet Franc is an often under appreciated grape in the wine world. Getting lost in the shadows of Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon this grape is a little more unassuming and few people realize the deep and elegantly delicious wines it can produce. If poorly handled it may sometimes show a slight vegetal side, in the hands of a master, like Thierry Germain, it produces truly delicious and often captivating wines.

Thierry Germain, producing wines from one of the best regions for Cabernet Franc in the world, Saumur Champigny. Thierry relocated to the Loire Valley from Bordeaux in the early 1990’s. At first, he made point driven wines that were rich and oaky, but after a serious illness said he went “from making wines with his brain to making them with his heart.” And while the previous wines were good they were not captivating, even mesmerizing, with their lively nature and spirit. Today his wines are rich and lively, lower in alcohol and heavily sought after. A year ago January, while touring the French country side tasting wine, this estate was one of the real discoveries of the trip. Since then, I have tried to snap up all of the bottles I can, especially of these two labels which are his entry level bottlings. They represent astounding value for the price point, $28 a bottle.

They are both delicious and worth having in the house or cellar. The first bottling with the blue label is the Les Roches, it is a bit more smokey in nature but richly fruited and elegant on the tongue. The Domaine bottling is almost velveteen on the palate. The label for this wine changes color each year with Thierry’s daughter picking the color. This vintage he acknowledged that she unknowingly chose correctly for a black and white label as the first part of the season was difficult and worrisome with poor weather and frost but the end of the season helped craft grapes to make a delicious wine. They are wonderful everyday wines that offer a lot of drinking pleasure, they pair wonderfully with lamb burger, grilled portobellos, a nice stew or similarly rich summer foods. We were fortunate to get a couple more cases, each is $28 a bottle.

Note: For those seeking to further their wine knowledge, these two make a fantastic comparative tasting with friends. Get a bottle of each and six people together for an enjoyable and discursive evening on how they are similar but different.

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