Yannick Amirault crafts Cabernet Franc that is unparalleled in its consistent quality and its complexity. Despite coming from one of the most northerly red wine appellations in France, Amirault wines are striking for their density and ripeness.
Yannick inherited a patchwork of 3.5 hectares from his grandfather in 1977, including the famous Les Malgagnes, and today the estate covers 21 hectares divided between Bourgueil and St.-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil, primarily on the limestone côtes above the River Loire. By employing leaf-thinning and green harvesting, yields are kept low even in abundant years, averaging 40hl/ha, far lower than the permitted 55hl/ha for Bourgueil and 60hl/ha for St.-Nicolas de Bourgueil.
The estate has been certified organic since 2009, although there has been no use of chemicals in the vineyards since 1997.
In 2003, Yannick was joined by his son, Benoît. That year, the decision was taken to return to fermentation in barrel. As only native yeasts are used, the fermentations are allowed to continue for as long as needed. Furthermore, there is never any adjustment for acidity or alcohol, meaning each wine is a genuine reflection of the vintage.
All the wines are aged for a minimum of 10 months before bottling to soften the sometimes-rustic tannins found in young cabernet franc. Yannick continues to bottle in the traditional way – without filtration – having tasted old vintages of his grandfather’s that were still youthful and balanced despite being over half a century old. The estate follows the lunar calendar for all vineyard and cellar work.