Chinon: Domaine Jean-Maurice Raffault 'Le Puy' Rouge 2020
Any one thinking red Chinon (Cabernet Franc) is just for slaking one’s thirst after punting a canot down the Loire, should try this impressive, organic single vineyard example from Rodolphe Raffault. When we first tasted it, it immediately reminded us of good, Right-Bank Bordeaux.
From the small 1.2ha ‘Le Puy’ lieu-dit on the south-facing hillsides of the ‘Puys du Chinonais’ (an ancient extinct volcano, now a nature reserve) just south of the D118. The site has stunning views to the château of Saumur in the distance and over the river valleys of the Vienne and the Loire. Grown on ancient volcanic silica-rich chalky-clay soils, winemaker Rodolphe Raffault performs a green harvest in August, removing any bunches to select only the best fruit for the final wine.
Intensely fruited concentrated Cabernet Franc - fresh acidity balances the berry fruit, spicy savoury notes and silky-smooth tannins with a lingering finish. Best served slightly cool and benefits from decanting.
|Style||Red Wine, Sec, Medium-bodied, Non Sparkling|
|Wine Region||Loire, Chinon|
|Grape Variety (Cépage)||Cabernet Franc|
|Food & Wine Matching||Beef, Charcuterie|
|Cellarage||Drink 2 to 8 years after vintage.|
|Vinification||Hand-harvested berries are picked at optimum maturity (following a green harvest) and macerated for a month to extract flavor and tannin before fermentation in new and one-year old large oak barrels. Matured in barrel for 18 months in ancient tuffeau (limestone) cellars.|
|Alcohol By Volume (%)||14|
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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