I'm not sure why I went out to try and buy the entire Thierry Germain catalogue. Actually I do know why.
After admiring Joe's donation to our Cabernet Franc tasting -- La Marginale -- I realized that BrooklynGuy recommends other cuvées from Thierry Germain. Germain, the wine maker at Domaine des Roches Neuves, also produces L'Insolite, Terres Chaudes (the clickable bottle image shown above), as well as a self-titled domaine cuvée, their entry-level wine. I couldn't find L'Insolite, but managed to bag the other two.
I liked the Terres Chaudes 2005 quite a bit. (I preferred it to the cheaper Cuvée Thierry Germain 2004 -- coincidentally if you swap vintages you can get BrooklynGuy's take on these two, as he tasted the Terres Chaudes 04 and Cuvée Thierry Germain 05.)
Domaine des Roches Neuves Terres Chaudes 2005
Eyes: Dark purple hue with a fuschia rim. Exhibits tears and a lot of viscosity in the glass. Inky depth of colour. NOTE: Sediment is in this wine -- quite a bit -- so it needs a thorough decant.
Nose: Low intensity nose. I thought this would develop more but even on the next night is was subdued. Some licorice and, I think, alcohol.
Mouth: Sour cherry evolving to darker red berries. A rootiness suggestive of star anise takes over to make this Cabernet Franc an interesting specimen that is neither distinctly fruity nor vegetal. Some green pepper and mineral with a lovely creamy note. Drying, crispy and with a solid body and sound tannin. A fine finish with great length. Style very much similar to the 2003 La Marginale, yet I'd encourage people to treat it much more like a "drink now" wine despite the fact that it's in its youthful stage. It's good like this!
Stomach: I've read that you should grill food with this wine but my braised rôti de boeuf (a bas palette or bottom blade roast slow cooked with turnip or carrots and garlic was totally delicious as an accompaniment. Saumur-Champigny earns its title as the food-friendliest appellation of France so you could serve it with almost anything. Since this wine is more substantial fare than most bistro bottles, I would advise you try something richly textured, slightly fatty, somewhat rustic and intensely flavoured. Rôti de bas palette garni, it is!
BAS PALETTE ON PARADE
Varrains, France. 13%.