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Olga Raffault 

"Les Picasses" 2015


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Cabernet Franc often gets a bad rap, or at least overshadowed by its more illustrious relative: Cabernet Sauvignon. Think of it as the Clint Howard of the family. Lighter-bodied and more perfumed, it also has a tendency towards funkiness. Although it hails from Bordeaux (where it is used as a blending grape), Cabernet Franc reaches its apex in the Central Loire Valley in the vineyards surrounding the villages of Bourgueil, Saumur and Chinon. Les Picasses is an old-vine parcel that is considered one of the best crus in the region. Olga Raffault and family have been making classic expressions of Chinon's unique terroir since the legendary 1947 vintage. Their wines are hand-harvested, steel-fermented and aged in chestnut barrels, then bottled without filtration. This vintage is still fresh and lively. Bright ruby, with just a hint of brick at the edges, this red offers dusty aromas of spice, herbs and earth, wrapped around a core of red fruit. The attack smacks of brighter fruits like blueberry and red cherry, fading mid-palate into more brooding, wild flavors of mulberry, blackberry and bramble. The tannins are still relatively coarse, and there is still firm acidity, so it's worth letting it open up a little first. If you do, you will be rewarded with notes of mushroom, gravel and clove. Serve with a rustic duck accompanied by mushrooms and swiss chard. Organic.

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