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Jean-Maurice Raffault Les Galuches Chinon 2005

Cabernet Franc from Chinon, Touraine, Loire, France
  • RP88
0% ABV
  • W&S93
  • WS92
  • WS90
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Winemaker Notes

"From alluvial and gravel soils (in this case right along the Loire, whereas most of Chinon's better-known vineyards front on the Vienne) and aged eight months in used barrels, the 2005 Chinon Les Galuches leads with an aromatic melange of ripe plum, beef broth, iodine, and cherry-almond. Juicy, bright, and faintly saline on the palate, and with a satisfying persistence of ripe though faintly tart plum and cherry fruit, it finishes with refinement if not quite the infectious juiciness of Raffault's basic bottling." - Wine Advocate

Critical Acclaim

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RP 88
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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Jean-Maurice Raffault

Jean-Maurice Raffault

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Jean-Maurice Raffault, Chinon, Touraine, Loire, France
2005 Les Galuches Chinon
Jean-Maurice Raffault's famed Chinon estate is now run by his son Rodolphe. Chinon is located in the central Loire valley, near Tours, and is the northernmost French red wine appellation. The family has been vignerons in Chinon since 1693 and the estate now comprises 40 hectares spread over 6 communes. Raffault harvests his Cabernet Francs as late as possible and vinifies each parcel separately. Fermentation can last up to one month with daily pumping over for maximum extraction of color and flavors. The wines are then aged in Bordeaux barrels in his remarkable 54 degree cellar (caves cut into the limestone slopes) and are bottled without filtration. Raffault is one of the few Chinon producers still using oak barrels to produce stable, tannic wines with impressive structure and intensity of fruit. It's fascinating to taste the ultimate expression of the Cabernet Franc varietal in the range of styles made by this very talented winemaker.

Rodolphe Raffault obtained a post graduate degree in Chemistry in Tours and then studied for the National Diploma in Oenology from the University of Dijon. After taking his degree, Rodolphe spent 2 years in Burgundy as a stagiere, followed by another stage at a Loire Co-op. In 1997, he joined his father Jean-Maurice, at the family domaine in Chinon which had by then grown to 40 hectares. He has been in charge of the vineyards and winemaking since the 2000 vintage. Rodolphe is proud to perpetuate his family's heritage as wine-growers, which began in 1693. He is particularly motivated to continue his late father's innovation of single-site bottling in Chinon, for example with his revival of the historic Clos des Capucins vineyard. Going forward, Rodolphe Raffault is evolving his vineyards in the direction of sustainable and organic viticulture.

Raffault’s Chinons are wonderfully expressive wines which go together with a wide variety of classic French dishes but their natural fruity acidities make them fine matches for Asiatic cuisine, grilled fish, and spicy American foods. For wines with such depth and complexity, they also represent remarkable value.

Cabernet Franc

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The subtler and more delicate of the Cabernets, Cabernet Franc is the proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon and shares many of the structural elements of Bordeaux’s cornerstone variety. In Bordeaux, Cabernet Franc is often planted as an insurance policy against its later-ripening offspring, as it is more likely to thrive in a difficult harvest. But don’t mistake Cabernet Franc for merely a supporting player—this grape variety produces outstanding wines on its own or as the dominant component of a blend. It produces perhaps its most alluring wines in France’s Loire Valley, in the regions of Chinon, Bourgueil, and Saumur-Champigny, where brighter, riper wines can be achieved. Outside of France, Cabernet Franc has performed quite well in parts of California, New York, and Virginia.

In the Glass

Paler, lighter, crisper, softer, and much more aromatic than its progeny, Cabernet Franc typically tastes of red raspberries, cherries, and herbs, with a stunning perfume of violets, tobacco, and spice.

Perfect Pairings

Mouthwatering acidity makes Cabernet Franc an incredibly food-friendly wine, helping to cut through the richness of fatty meat dishes. It especially shines in tandem with lamb, and its affinity for the spice cabinet allows it to pair perfectly with Chinese dishes prepared with Szechuan pepper and five-spice.

Sommelier Secrets

Under-ripe Cabernet Franc can be leafy and green with harsh tannins and mouth-searing acidity, so it is best to avoid highly spiced curries and fiery chili dishes.

AIWJMRLGC_2005 Item# 93862

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