Saumur, Loire, France
Chateau Yvonne received high praise from Rajat Parr in his new book The Sommelier's Atlas of Taste. Chateau Yvonne Saumur Blanc is poured by the glass at both Blue Hill restaurants.
Located in Parnay, Chateau Yvonne has been surrounded by vineyards since the middle ages, when the monks at the Abbaye de Fontevraud brought their influence to the region. The Chateau dates to the 16th century, but not much is known until 1813, when a local winemaker moved in and began producing wine on site. In 1997, Yvonne and Jean-François Lamunière decided to recreate the abandoned vineyard with the help of Françoise Foucault. In 2007, Matthieu Vallée took over and decided to keep the name Chateau Yvonne in homage to the incredible work done by the previous owners. Today the domaine is one of the best producers in Saumur, composed of 3 hectares of Chenin Blanc and 8 hectares of Cabernet Franc, spread out over 28 small plots in three villages. The vineyards have been farmed organically (Ecocert certified) since 1997 and biodynamically since 2012. Yvonne's production remains extremely low, averaging only 2000 cs annually. All vineyard work here is done manually, and Matthieu makes the wines with as little manipulation as possible: native yeast fermentation, no additions other than SO2, slow malolactic fermentation, minimal racking, and bottling unfined and unfiltered. The dominant soils here are limestone and tuffeau stone but outcroppings of gravel and sandy clay give completely different expressions of Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc.
"Since taking over Chateau Yvonne in 2007, Mathieu Vallée has brought the estate into the circle of elite producers in Saumur. The three reds show off different sides of Cabernet Franc from fresh and light-hearted to the seriously ageworthy. Yvonne Blanc is one of the finest expressions of Chenin Blanc, a clear demonstration of the incredible terroir of Saumur."- Joshua Adler, Paris Wine Company
Chateau Yvonne Saumur Blanc is biodynamically farmed and certified organic. From 3 hectares of vines ranging from 5 years to over 80 years in age. Clay/limestone soils over tuffeau stone. Hand-harvested in small bins. Native yeast fermentation in barrel at cool temperatures for 4 months. Malolactic fermentation occurs naturally during aging in oak (30% new barrels for 12 months). Bottled unfined and unfiltered. Production: 6,000 bottles/year.