Olga Raffault in the 1970s

Chinon "Les Picasses" from Domaine Olga Raffault, 2005, 2008 & 2009 (and 2016!)

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Our relationship with the Raffault family goes back to 1990, when Olga put a push-pin into New York on her map of the world, on the occasion ot the estate's first shipment to the US. They were apprehensive, but sensing that we were serious, winemaker Ernest Zeinninger kept bringing older and older wines from the cellar, all of which were fascinating and delicious, even from the worst vintages. The domaine is committed to holding back wines for later release, but these blessed events have become few and far between - so we are extremely happy to offer three excellent vintages of "Les Picasses" for current enjoyment or for an additional 10 to 20 years of cellaring.

Some history from the Raffault website:

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In the beautiful country of Véron, cradled between the Loire and the Vienne, the Olga Raffault estate has been transmitting its know-how in the production of  Chinon wines for five generations! Olga Raffault had devoted her whole life to these landscapes that she loved so much and was always able to share her love of wine!  Her husband, Pierre Raffault, died tragically in 1947,  when the vines for which he had taken so much care had given him hope for the finest vintage of the century! Olga, then a mother of two young children, conscious of her duty, managed to complete this exceptional vintage with the help of Ernest ZEINNINGER, a German prisoner in the service of the estate at the end of the war.

Sylvie, Raffault, Eric and Arnaud

This courageous and generous German had not understood the war and very early on found meaning in it through the deep friendship he forged with his "protectors", the RAFFAULT family, with whom he discovered a new vocation: To devote his life to the vine, and to support Olga and her two children, a promise he had made at the last moments of Pierre Raffault...

Today, Olga's granddaughter, Sylvie Raffault, with her husband Eric de la Vigerie and their son Arnaud de la Vigerie are maintaining the great traditions of the past, a true family heritage. The wine of Chinon "Olga Raffault" is signed by all these exchanges between generations, giving it such a special soul, the fruit of wisdom and passion.

Sylvie, Eric and Arnaud converted the estate to organic farming a few years ago and are making beautiful wines that capture the spirit of the generations before....

Please see our original notes on these vintages below and please don't forget the 2021 Rosé which will arrive with the Picasses in late May or early June.

Raffault, Olga 2008 Chinon Les Picasses Pre-Arrival (Late May)

** This is a Pre-arrival item. Arrives late May 2022 **

The Domaine Olga Raffault Chinon "les Picasses" is one of the most famous wines in the region - a wine that is delicious young but that cellars beautifully for ten to twenty years, even longer in a good vintage. Under the direction of Eric de la Vigerie and Sylvie Raffault, quality here has been maintained, and improved, with the adoption of organic farming. The vines averaged about 40 years-old in 2008, a vintage that was cool much of the summer but after a sunny and warm September the grapes were harvested on October 10th with beautiful maturity and concentration, combined with the firm acidity found in this vintage.The wine shows a slightly mature red/black color with aromas of ripe blackberry, strawberry and prune with, orange rind, earth and musk. The palate is supple and deep with ripe blackberry liqueur and hints of pepper, cocoa, licorice, earth and minerals. The finish is long and sappy with firm acidity. This great Chinon in mid-life cries out for a nice steak, coq au vin  or pork ribs. Drink now after decanting or cellar for ten  more years.

  • red
  • 6 in stock
  • no discount
  • $65.99

  • Low Sulfur

Raffault, Olga 2009 Chinon Les Picasses PRE-ARRIVAL (Late May)

** This is a Pre-arrival item. Arrives late May 2022 **

Olga Raffault has always been one of my favorite producers, likely because it was one of the first great Loire reds I stumbled upon early in my wine life.  The 2009 Les Picasses fits into my idea of that first real bottle of Chinon I had all those years ago. The nose leads with red plum and dark cherries followed by classic herbaceous notes, tobacco and just a touch of brettanomyces.  The palate shows elegance with soft tannins and plenty of acidity even though the flavors are bold: red plums, turned earth, and a fresh herbaceous character without being at all funky. A great pairing for roasted chicken and herbed potatoes, seared salmon with salsa verde, or pork sirloin steaks. Open and decant now or age for another few years, then drink until 2030 and beyond, and above all else enjoy.  Andy Paynter

  • red
  • 7 in stock
  • no discount
  • $65.99

Raffault, Olga 2021 Chinon Rosé (arrives 5/27)

(Arrives 5/20) The Olga Raffault Chinon is a rosé de saignée, after a 12-hour maceration on the skins, followed by a slow low-tempreature fermentation with wild yeasts. The grapes come from gravel soils which brings a bit more density of fruit to the wine which is elegant and perfectly balanced in 2021 Lovely bright pink color, hints of raspberry and strawberry fruit, very dry and balanced on the palate with a bit of peach and red berries in the finish with crisp saline acidity. "Particulièrement gouleyant" it says on the label and we couldn't agree more!

  • rosé
  • 42 in stock
  • $21.99

  • Organic
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Raffault, Olga 2005 Chinon Les Picasses

(2009 review) This is a beautiful, earthy Chinon from Domaine Olga Raffault drinking superbly now. Deep black/red color, aromas of strawberry and plum confit, game, citrus and forest floor. The palate is soft but with cool acidity, showing smokey black fruits with asian spice and tea leaf. The earthy finish speaks of the clay/limestone terroir of "Les Picasses." Lovely now, this should be very interesting in five to fifteen years.

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $51.99

Raffault, Olga 2016 Chinon Les Picasses

(Pre-Arrival) Les Picasses is one of the greatest vineyards in Chinon - the Raffault's parcel faces gently south, with clay over porous limestone that retains water and nutrients, nourishing the vines. While the wine is amply fruited and enjoyable young, it has firm acidity and structure for long-term aging, up to 30 years and more depending on the vintage. 2016 was a classic vintage for Loire reds, which generally showed vibrant fruit, fresh acidity, good density  and moderate alcohol. The wines are full-bodied and well-structured for aging. The 2016 Raffault Picasses shows a bright, red/black color with aromas of morello cherry, red currant, blackberry and prune with hints of licorice, earth and black pepper. The palate shows silky tannins and sappy red and black fruits with chalky minerals and firm acidity, with a bit of the gamey, musky aspect of old-school Chinon.  Earthy prune, plum and cherry fruits linger in the long finish. Please decant two to three hours in advance if drinking now, then serve a bit cool with roast chicken, pork or lamb. This will sing a different song after 6 to 8 years of aging, best perhaps 2028 - 2040.

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $33.99

  • Organic