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Chateau Yvonne, Saumur-Champigny, 2018

$48.99

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Château Yvonne is (aside from Clos Rougeard) the name in Saumur-Champigny, and one of our favorite producers of both Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc. The estate itself has grown vines for hundreds of years, first planted by medieval monks. In its current iteration, Yvonne has been certified biodynamic since 2012, and the wine is made with as little manipulation as possible: native yeast fermentation, no additions other than SO2, slow malolactic fermentation, minimal racking, and bottling unfined and unfiltered.

This is Cabernet Franc from a few plots in the village of Parnay on clay and limestone soils, vines up to 80 years in age. Concentrated red strawberry and raspberry fruit, slightly confit, with savory notes of brie rind and cigar box. Generous now, but clearly built to age.

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Saumur: it is the little village in the Central Loire that produces such fine Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc and has become the latest target of wine collectors looking for trophies, potential trophies, or just great wines to put in their cellars. It's sometimes easy to forget that if you go to Paris, "Saumur" is still just a name that is scrawled on blackboards at simple bistros. You might order a pichet for about 12 euros, and get it a little chilled. Almost always, it is delicious.

Château Yvonne produces Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc that rank among Saumur's very top echelon, and collectors have started to notice. All of Yvonne's wines are made without artifice: there are no additives and virtually no manipulations, with the exception of a minimal amount of sulfur at bottling. This is fresh, pure, light, and natural.

Details

  • Grape Variety

    Cabernet Franc

  • Vintage

    2018

  • Size

    750ml

  • Farming Practice

    Organic

  • Sweetness

    Dry

  • Body

    Medium Bodied

Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews
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J
Jeff Patten
Drinking Perfect

This was really nice last night from the very first glass. Super elegant. Lots of intensity, but still light enough to go with my summer caprese. I think this will cellar well for a few years but it's already irresistable and I plan to go back to this soon.

J
JR Thomason
Awesome wine

I always like this wine. It has really vibrant red fruit that feels juicy at the core, but also shows old-world 'iron first in a velvet glove' tannic precision, kind of like a good traditional Saint-Emilion. Except there's really no oak flavors here, and this feels a little more small-scale/artisanal than 95% of Bordeaux wines. Still, the best Saint-Emilions have a sort of minerally bite, and that's what I get in this Saumur.

It's super balanced and very pretty. Lot's of black cherry skin, raspberry sap and roses on the palate. Again, velvety but also mineral and really well-defined. Some tangy 'brie rind' and earth-funk notes, too, but this is not barnyard or rustic at all. People who think they don't like Cabernet Franc might fall in love with this in spite of themselves. It's that good, especially in this vintage, which is about as perfect a vintage as it gets for Loire Cabernet Franc. I like it with lamb or beef, but I've also happily drunk it on it's own. Also, if you are looking for something relatively affordable that will age 10-15 years (or more), this is a smart choice.