Mathieu Vallée assumed the reigns at Château Yvonne in 2007 when he acquired the domaine from Yvonne and Jean-François Lamunière. Yvonne and Jean-Francois acquired six hectares in 1996 and took to working with Françoise Foucault. Those of you who know great Loire wine, and fine, age worthy Saumur Champigny, will recognize the Foucault name. Françoise is the wife of one of the world’s greatest winemakers at Clos Rougeard. Even today, under Mathieu’s guidance, the Clos Rougeard sensibility is evident: organic farming; low yields harvested by hand in small bins; naturally slow, native yeast fermentations; long oak aging with appropriately limited new oak; low sulfur and bottling unfined and unfiltered. But Mathieu has taken quality to a new level having converted the vineyards to biodynamic in 2012.
Today, 28 small plots in three villages make up a total of 11 hectares of vineyards: three hectares planted to Chenin Blanc and eight hectares planted to Cabernet Franc. Château Yvonne doesn’t make very much wine. All in they craft about 2000 cases per year – three Cabernet Francs and two Chenin Blancs. The vineyards are planted predominantly on limestone and tuffeau (chalky) stone along with some gravel and sandy clay. From this earthy cocktail come wines that are unique expressions of wines that reflect their surroundings.
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