What are we drinking this week? Chateau Yvonne 2012

Chateau Yvonne 2012

We’ve been working with Mathieu Vallée of Chateau Yvonne for the past 8 years and love his wines. A former engineer, Mathieu took over Chateau Yvonne in 2007. He has 28 small parcels dotted around the Saumur Champigny appellation (3ha of Chenin and 8ha of Cabernet Franc) all worked organically and with minimal additions in the winery (wild yeast ferments and minimal use of SO2 at bottling).

Mathieu Vallée

Mathieu Vallée in his barrel cellar

Chateau Yvonne

The winery at Chateau Yvonne is dug into the limestone

Mathieu Vallée

Mathieu Vallée

Chateau Yvonne Saumur Champigny, is normally his top wine in the range (he released a single parcel wine in 2014 that is part of the blend but was so outstanding in this vintage he bottled it separately).

After vinification, the wine goes into 225l oak barrels (20%) new for 12 months followed by another 6 months in big foudres (very large oak tanks) followed by another 3 months in concrete tank before bottling.

2012 was not an easy year in the vineyard. I remember very well we were still burning wood in our stoves until June. However, some rather nice reds were made by those who were diligent and this is one of them.

Ripe red and dark fruits on the nose with some sweet rich notes, and a spicy background that continues through on the palate. Subtle vanilla creeps in and the tannins are generous but lovely and integrated into the wine. There’s a lovely freshness on the finish too.  A wine that will keep for some time yet (if we can keep our hands off it).