Domaine des Roches Neuves, 2016 Update

Many years ago, during a visit to the Loire Valley, I spent the best part of a day going from one Saumur-Champigny domaine to another in quick succession, tasting as I went. I suppose I had several aims, among them a desire to get better acquainted with some less familiar domaines, and to gain a greater understanding of the appellation as a whole.

The domaines I visited were all fairly mainstream. They didn’t include the famed Clos Rougeard, and some other domaines I today rate quite highly weren’t there at all. For example, I didn’t visit Domaine du Collier, even though I knew of Antoine Foucault and his obvious genetic pedigree. And I hadn’t even heard of Romain Guiberteau; he just wasn’t on my radar at all. But I did stop off at Château de Chaintres, Clos Cristal, Domaine Filliatreau, Château du Hureau, Rene-Noël Legrand, Domaine de Nerleux, Antoine Sanzay, Château de Targé and Château de Villeneuve. So it was quite a busy day.

Domaine des Roches Neuves

And, of course, there was also Domaine des Roches Neuves. At the end of the day I drew up a list of domaines, ranking them in order of preference, really to help me crystallise my thoughts about my tastings and the appellations. Domaine des Roches Neuves was, from this list, my number one choice.

What I liked most about the domaine was the sheer purity and floral, perfumed elegance of the wine. Bordeaux drinkers go crazy for the pencil shaving, graphite and violet fragrance of Cabernet Franc in Château Ausone and Château Cheval Blanc, and yet here it was in spades, the domaine a clear winner compared to its peers in the appellation. And it was a far cry from the Roches Neuves of old, the wines of Thierry Germain (pictured above) having previously been renowned for their dark colour, ambitious levels of extraction and a heavy use of oak, smothering the fruit.

Please log in to continue reading:

Subscribe Here / Lost Password