Monday, July 23, 2007

Some Like It Raff

Chinon is the Loire AOC responsible for the most interesting, most classically finessed Cabernet Francs in all of France, perhaps with the exception only of Cheval Blanc. Olga Raffault is Chinon's legend. The vineyard "Les Picasses" is its jewel. The 1990 vintage, recently released directly from the Raffault cellars, is a near-textbook expression of mature Chinon: light garnet color with mahogany at rim, fairly perfumed nose, giving pimento, olives, tobacco leaf, leather, cedar and barnyard aromas; cherry, orange zest and leather on the palate; rounded tannins and good backbone of acidity. There is a cooling quality to Chinon which makes it marvelously refreshing during these dog days of summer, but the 1990 Raffault "Les Picasses" brings with it that leathery-green and spicy note which can't fail to intrigue in me in its dirty, country-French way. For a person accustomed to the New World fruit-bomb high-alcohol style (or even the much-fêted ripeness of St-Emilion and Pomerol), Chinon will speak a decidedly difficult patois––but, then again, who ever turned down that freckled beauty in her father's boots with the smell of the livestock on her jeans?

Break beyond the fruit.


Blogger Unknown said...

expressed with an understanding of the wine and the special specificity of the the region. poetic but with concrete discription. well done

August 8, 2007 at 2:35 PM  

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