About This Vineyard
Madame Michèle de Jessey inherited the estate in 1961 when her aunt, Madame du Closel, the former proprietor/winemaker, searched for a successor throughout her extensive family. Madame de Jessey was chosen for her love and respect for the wine, vineyards and traditions of Savennières: a love that is evident in the wines she has created. Today her daughter Evelyne de Pontbriand runs the estate.
The estate — historically the Château des Vaults and its lands — consists of 12 hectares of organic Chenin Blanc vines, 4 hectares of which are in the Clos du Papillon.
The soil is shallow sandy topsoil on a deep bed of schist and volcanic rock. The vines are rigorously pruned to produce 4 to 6 buds on two canes. This keeps the yields low, from 20 to 40 hl/ha in any given vintage. The microclimate is defined by the protecting hillsides, and the best hilltop vineyards are exposed to high winds that keep the grapes cool and free of rot. The organic grapes are picked by hand under selection, or tri, and the vinification is slow under controlled temperatures.
There is no doubt that, given the microclimate, soil and fruit produced, Savennières is overall the finest and most unique expression of Chenin Blanc sec in the world. The Savennières les Caillardières (formerly known as Cuvée Spéciale) is Madame de Jessey’s creation. Most Savennières are totally dry wines, but this cuvée is a vin tendre, slightly off-dry and mineral. In great years, it is an easy, accessible introduction to Savennières with great concentration of fruit and slatey mineral tones. Best served as an aperitif wine, it takes on further nuance and complexity with age.