Domaine Olga Raffault is a longtime producer of benchmark Chinon wines from the Loire Valley. Olga and Pierre Raffault worked on their estate together until Pierre suddenly passed away at the end of the Second World War. Olga was left with two small children and the Domaine. Luckily with the help of Ernest Zenninger, an ex-German war prisoner, Raffault was able to keep the business alive. Zenninger found work at Domaine Olga Raffault after the end of the war and went on to become a winemaker working closely with Olga until her son was able to take over. Now in its third generation, Olga’s granddaughter, Sylvie and her husband Eric, continue the family legacy of producing classic Chinon wines.
The vineyard, ‘Les Picasses,’ is situated on the North bank of the Vienne River. It sits on the South-facing slope of the highest hill with chalky, clay-limestone soil. The Cabernet Franc grown here is certified organic and harvested by hand, with whole berries fermented with native yeasts. These wines are then aged for a minimum of 4 years, with 2 to 3 years in oak or chestnut, which is common in the area.
The Olga Raffault Le Picasses Chinon has lovely flavors of raspberry, violet and earth. It is velvety smooth on the palate with red and dark berries, a hint of meatiness, menthol and strong mineral backbone. The 2015 vintage in Chinon was great, with grapes ripening evenly and consistently allowing for a lovely balance of fruit flavors and acid. This wine could be drunk now or can age nicely for at least 5 more years.