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Olga Raffault, Chinon Rose, 2021

$22.99
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Cabernet Franc is surely one of the world's greatest red wine grapes. It can make excellent wine in many styles, from light-and-fruity "bistro" quaffers to structured, dense vins de garde. It can evoke a kaleidoscope of flavors, like cherries, flowers, bell peppers, clay, or potting soil—sometimes all at once. It's also a great transmitter of terroir, showcasing its origin with fine geological and climatic detail.

The grape is most at home in the Loire, where it reigns as the region's supreme red variety. The best examples are found in the AOCs of Saumur-Champigny and Chinon, and it is the latter where the benchmark domaine of Olga Raffault is located.

Raffault has been crafting some of the most iconic, terroir specific wines in Chinon for decades. Their wines do not shy from every thing that Cabernet Franc has to offer and they age extremely well. Those of us who have been enjoying the library releases from the '80's and '90's over the years can attest well to their longevity. Unfortunately that well has now essentially run dry and they are releasing more current vintages.

The good news is you don't have to wait decades to enjoy them; they are silky, savory, and delicious even in their youth. But give the wines a few years and the terroir becomes more assertive. The wine develops a rather generous, pungently sylvan perfume and the core of cherry-red fruit becomes even more refined. That's precisely what great Chinon can do.


Obviously, we’re big fans of this Chinon benchmark. The estate is currently run by Olga’s grandaughter Sylvie and her husband, Eric. We admire how the winemaking has stayed super-traditional over the decades. And we love how prices have remained very reasonable, too.

What importer Bowler Wine has to say about this wine...

100% Cabernet Franc. Raffault uses 50% certified-organic estate fruit (from sandy, gravelly, flat parcels along the Vienne) and sources the other 50% from a neighboring grower in conversion to organic farming. All of the wine is made from hand-harvested fruit in the Raffault cellar. Half of the fruit is pressed directly as whole clusters and the other half is saigné. The fermentation takes place spontaneously with native yeasts in stainless steel tanks. The wine does not go through malolactic fermentation and is aged in tank as well. It is bottled with a light, non-sterile filtration in the spring following the vintage.

Details

  • Grape Variety

    Cabernet Franc

  • Vintage

    2021

  • Size

    750ml

  • Farming Practice

    Organic

  • Style

    Earthy , Herbaceous , Juicy

  • Sweetness

    Dry

  • Body

    Medium Bodied

Loire Valley Wines

The Loire Valley is France’s greatest source of value for anyone looking for elegant, terroir-driven wines. Our collection celebrates the region’s great diversity, with the mineral-driven whites of Muscadet and Sancerre, the beautiful Chenin Blancs and Cabernet Francs from villages like Vouvray and Chinon, and natural wines from everywhere in the region. Sometimes wonderfully fresh and gulpable, sometimes serious and age-worthy, the prices are always very reasonable.

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