Highlights: Thierry Germain Clos de L’Echelier 2019 Saumur Champigny

This is impressive: it’s a varietal Cabernet Franc from a 2.5 hectare clos, surrounded by a 300 year old wall. The soils are clay and Turonien limestone, vines are 40 years old, and the wine is matured in a mix of 1200 litre foudre and 600 litre demi-muids. Farming is biodynamic. I reckon this will age for many decades: it’s so taut and intense.

Thierry Germain Clos de L’Echelier 2019 Saumur Champigny, Loire, France
13.5% alcohol. From a small clos on Turonien limestone. This is brooding, dark, gravelly and intense with sweet blackcurrant and cherry fruit, with a lovely vivid chalky texture and keen acidity. There’s ripeness here, but there are also edges with a lovely unfurled intensity and some nice chalky notes. This is very serious and complex, and there’s some smoky, savoury complexity. 94/100 (£46 The Sourcing Table, I declare an interest as contributing editor)

UK agent: Les Caves de Pyrene