Chinon: Domaine Jean-Maurice Raffault 'Clos de L'Hospice' Rouge 2019
"A fuller-bodied yet elegant red, with ample cherry and raspberry wrapped around a core of graphite and smoke. Shows intensity that builds on the palate, which is filled out with singed alder, incense and fruit leather. Earthy and energetic, with fine-grained tannins lining the formidable finish. Drink now through 2027. 478 cases made. 92/100."
Kristen Bieler - Wine Spectator
Rodolphe Raffault started replanting the historic 1-hectare vineyard of Clos de l'Hospice in 2008. Overlooking the Vienne river and the Château de Chinon, this south-facing natural amphitheatre previously belonged to a convent and was long-planted to fruit and vegetables. This tiny production single-vineyard concentrated Cabernet Franc oozes cassis and sloes with a floral, violet lift on the nose. Fresh acidity and a touch of pepper alongside great minerality add structure leading to a silky, long finish. Best served slightly cool and benefits from decanting. Certified organic.
16th century French writer, polymath and physician François Rabelais has long been associated with Chinon and his descendants are known to have once owned the Clos de l'Hospice vineyard. Located next to the Château de Chinon, Since then, this great site has hosted nuns from the convent of Calvarian and it has been both a vineyard pre-Phylloxera and a vegetable garden tended to by patients and nuns of the Hospice. Replanted using pre-1939 'selection massale' vines, the aim was to ensure the vineyard was as historically-authentic as possible. This took place in 2 phases in 2008 and 2014 with the support of the town of Chinon and the renovators of the neighbouring Château de Chinon.
|Style||Red Wine, Sec, Medium-bodied, Non Sparkling|
|Wine Region||Loire, Chinon|
|Grape Variety (Cépage)||Cabernet Franc|
|Food & Wine Matching||Beef, Charcuterie, Chicken and Turkey, Lamb, Mushrooms|
|Cellarage||Drink from 2 to 12 years after vintage.|
|Vinification||Hand-harvested berries are picked at optimum maturity (following a green harvest) and destemmed before macerating for a month to extract flavour and tannin with frequent pumping over. Fermentation takes place in new and 1-year old 500L oak barrels before maturation in barrel for 12 months. No sulphites are added after malolactic fermentation in cask (the wine remains protected under the carbon dioxide produced by malolactic conversion. Before blending, inert gas is used to prevent oxidation and the wine is bottled after clarification.|
|Alcohol By Volume (%)||13.5|
Domaine Jean-Maurice Raffault (Rodolphe Raffault)
Rodolphe Raffault is a 15th generation winemaker, whose ancestors first worked the vineyards of Chinon in the 17th century. Domaine Jean-Maurice Raffault covers 44 hectares across 7 communes which are farmed without chemical fertilizers or herbicides and made with minimal added sulphur. They began their 4-year conversion to organic from the 2016 vintage. The 10 hectare parcel of Cabernet Franc that is used to produce their rosé ripens early and is among the first Chinon wines to be picked. Susceptible to late frosts in April, the Domaine has a number of anti-frost fans in place to keep cold air moving and prevent the vines from freezing.
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