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Jean-Maurice Raffault Les Galuches Chinon 2009

Cabernet Franc from Chinon, Touraine, Loire, France
  • WS90
13% ABV
  • W&S93
  • WS92
  • RP88
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3.4 4 Ratings
13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The Les Galuches vineyard lies near the river on sandy-gravel soil made up of old alluvial deposits. This terroir warms very early, so the wine attains a sweet and lush texture.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 90
Wine Spectator
Very fresh and racy, displaying a great core of black cherry, cherry pit, bitter orange and sweet tobacco, all held together by lots of chalky minerality. A nice briar twinge completes the finish. Drink now through 2014. 500 cases imported. —J.M.
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Jean-Maurice Raffault

Jean-Maurice Raffault

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Jean-Maurice Raffault, , France - Other regions
Jean-Maurice Raffault
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.

California

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Responsible for the vast majority of American wine production, if California were a country, it would be the world’s fourth largest wine-producing nation. The state’s diverse terrain and microclimates allow for an incredibly wide-ranging selection of wine styles, and unlike tradition-bound Europe, experimentation is more than welcome here. Wineries range from boutique to massive corporations, and price and quality are equally varied—plenty of inexpensive bulk wine is made in the Central Coast area, while Napa is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and expensive “cult” wines.

Just about every style of wine you can imagine is made in California, from bone dry to unctuously sweet, still to sparkling, light and fresh to rich and full-bodied. Each AVA and sub-AVA has its own distinct personality. In the Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and other Bordeaux varieties dominate, as well as Sauvignon Blanc. Sonoma County is best known for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Zinfandel. The Central Coast has carved out a niche with Rhône blends based on Grenache and Syrah, while Mendocino has found success with Alsatian varieties such as Riesling and Gewürztraminer. With all the diversity that California has to offer, it is certain that any wine lover will find something to get excited about.

Other Red Blends

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With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to create complex wines with many different layers of flavors and aromas, or to create more balanced wines. For example, a variety that is soft and full-bodied may be combined with one that is lighter with naturally high acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

AIWGALUCHES_2009 Item# 108039

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