New rock's "Hot Earth": Domaine des Roches Neuves Terres Chaudes 2005

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!


Varrains, France. 13%.


Brooklynguy said...

hey marcus - i had the 05 terres chaud twice now, most recently about 3 weeks ago, and i think your notes are right on - the wine is good but still hard to tell exactly where its going. i think the combo of the ripe 05 year plus his heavily extracted style might have made for wines that are not so approachable in their youth. Except for the entry level - that 05 was just amazing - can you get that, or only the 04?

Joe said...

Damn - you better not have bought the last bottles in town!

Marcus said...

First of all, I said I sought out the entire Germain catalogue -- not its entire stock at the SAQ! So Joe, there was plenty left for you last time I checked.

And Bguy, I went for the 04 Domaine bottle because it was in shorter supply -- 05 bottles are around and I will seek them out. (After tasting them, the 04s didn't grab me like the others.)