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Olga Raffault Les Picasses 2012

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

Olga Raffault Les Picasses offers very structured tannins. The wine is ripe and round with strong mineral personality. A beautiful wine of fun in sight!

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 93
Wine & Spirits
This domaine is now run by Sylvie and Eric de la Vigerie (Sylvie is Olga Raffault’s granddaughter). For Les Picasses, they farm a hillside above the river, where 50-year-old vines grow on alluvial clay over chalky limestone. Aged in large-format oak, then in bottle prior to its relatively late release, this wine’s structure has melded with its red fruit, creating a delicious young cabernet franc of grace and power, lasting on the sophisticated richness of cigar smoke. Built to age, this is also ready to decant for country pâté or savory offal dishes.
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Olga Raffault

Olga Raffault

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Olga Raffault, Chinon, Touraine, Loire, France
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Since Olga's death a few years ago, Domaine Olga Raffault is currently run by her granddaughter Sylvie and her husband Eric de la Vigerie.

The estate has terrific plots of land in the Savigny-en-Véron district hard by the Vienne riverbanks. The ‘les Picasses’ vineyard stands out from the rest: old vines of 50-ish years on a fairly steep slope from the riverbank that is alluvial clay with a chalk limestone base. The fruit is particularly expressive of dark fruits of cassis and dark cherries with a terrific mineral content and good acidity for structure.

The winemaking is most traditional. The grapes are, of course, handpicked and fermented in stainless-steel. The wines are then aged in larger, neutral oak and sometimes chestnut - a traditional barrel wood in the region

An important red wine appellation in the Touraine district of the Loire, Chinon produces fanciful, light-bodied reds from the Cabernet Franc grape. Chinon also makes charming rosés from the same grape as well as white wines from Chenin blanc. But the reds give the area its fame. Often scented with fresh herbs, black tea and violets, Chinon reds show a lovely combination of fruit and acidity. However, styles have become more concentrated and ripe in recent years from improvements in vineyard management. Modern methods include planting grass between vineyard rows, using higher trellises and deleafing to increase sunlight to berries and therefore improve ripening. Even still, red Chinon is intended to be a light to medium bodied, refreshing wine to be enjoyed in its youth.

Fuller-bodied Chinons come from vineyard sites on the clay and tuffeau limestone slopes, usually from the southern exposed slopes of Cravant-les-Coteaux, and the plateau above Beaumont. Lighter styled wines come from the sand and gravel vineyards near the Loire or Vienne Rivers with the most refined examples coming from the area around Panzoult

Cabernet Franc

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The subtler and more delicate of the Cabernets, Cabernet Franc is a proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. While both are important grapes in modern day, high quality Bordeaux, interestingly, Cabernet Franc most likely originated from the Basque region of France sometime during the middle 1600’s. Today Cabernet Franc produces outstanding single varietal wines across the wine producing world, with some of its most classic examples from France’s Loire Valley, in the regions of Chinon, Bourgueil and Saumur-Champigny. Outside of France, Cabernet Franc performs quite well in parts of California, New York and Virginia. It is also a great blending grape.

In the Glass

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

One of California's best-kept secrets is the Happy Canyon appellation of Santa Barbara. Here Cabernet Franc shines as a single varietal wine or in blends, expressing sumptuous fruit, savory aromas and polished tannins.

FRMLD59212_2012 Item# 180573