2006RaffaultChinon2006 Domaine Olga Raffault, Chinon, Les Picasses, Loire Valley red wine, France.
The estate of the late Olga Raffault, a Loire legend, is now run by her granddaughter Sylvie, and her husband Eric de la Vigerie, they still produce wines in the traditional ways and age them in their cellars for an extended time. Recently released is their 2006 Chinon Les Picasses, an unfiltered, old school Cabernet Franc, and it is lovely and fresh with earthy character and classic gamey notes along with pretty dark fruits. This wine is a steal and a real natural beauty, it starts with violets, chalky stones, plum sauce, a hint of horse and cedar, but opens to reveal black cherry, fig, dark currants and dusty mulberry fruits plus saline, mineral/iron tones, bell pepper, nutmeg, truffle, savory meat and anise, with the faintest of green bean notes and a slight bretty presence, but never unripe or unpleasant on the fine tannin laced palate, this is a wonderfully interesting and pure terroir driven wine. It is interesting to note too the domaine has also began offering library selections of the Olga Raffault wines, some dating back into the 1970’s and 1980’s, plus late nineties wines, I did get a chance to taste the 1999 and it was deliciously fine and superbly balanced, much the same as this 2006 is today. You should see another selection of these Chinon’s shortly from the 2001 vintage, according to importer Louis Dressner, and they should be something to search out and look forward too, but don’t miss the chance to get a few of these 2006 Les Picasses, they are drinking great and can age another 10 years easy, making for a bargain and savvy cellar option, drink from 2014 to 2025. There is a lot to admire from the latest Raffault offering, I was highly impressed with the complexity and expressive nature the wine showed, graceful, soulful and it kept me guessing all evening, a rustic and charming country wine with class, very nice stuff indeed.
($30 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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