Domaine Filliatreau, an estate of about 50 hectares located near the city of Saumur, is run by the father and son team of Paul and Frederik Filliatreau. The estate has excellent holdings, particularly the Grande Vignolle vineyard, situated atop a tufa-stone outcrop that runs along the Loire river. The soft, limestone-rich tufa (perfect for the distinct cave dwellings below the vineyards) lends the Cabernet Franc grapes juicy flavors and good acidity. While all of the vineyards are managed along organic lines, the 6.5 hectare Chateau Fouquet vineyard warrants special mention as it has been converted to biodynamic viticulture. New to the market is the 2010 Saumur Blanc, a 100% Chenin Blanc cuvee with a short maceration on the skins. It’s dry, nutty flavors offer tremendous complexity for the price.
The vineyard of La Grande Vignolle rests atop a tufa-stone outcrop that runs along the Loire river for a number of kilometers. During the 16th and 17th centuries, the stone, a creamy colored limestone, was quarried for building some of the great monuments and châteaux of the Loire. Cave dwellings and a few formidable houses were actually carved into the cliffs. The La Grande Vignolle label is a depiction of this site.
The soil and subsoil of the vineyard are highly calcareous. This type of soil lends the Cabernet Franc grapes juicy flavors and good acidity.
The vines are of considerable age and yields are kept low. The wine is vinified in stainless-steel and bottled unfiltered. It is rich in red fruit flavors, with a touch of tobacco and licorice in the finish and has excellent aging potential.