OLGA RAFFAULT Chinon 'Les Barnabes' 2018

OLGA RAFFAULT Chinon 'Les Barnabes' 2018

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Sublime fragrance and freshness here. Classic Cab Franc peppery spice and herbal bite complimenting luscious dark fruits. Amazing drinking.

From The Natty Boy

Awesome producer located in Veron, which is a subregion of Chinon. This is Cabernet Franc territory in the Loire Valley, and along with neighbouring St-Nicholas de Bourgueil and Bourgeuil itself produces the world's greatest examples of this variety (notable exceptions being Cheval Blanc in Bordeaux and a handful of producers such as Clos Rougeard in nearby Saumur). There are two main soil types in Chinon, which can loosely be used to describe the styles of wines produced, and I say loosely as this is becoming far more of a generalisation as producers often mix plantings and winemaking improves further, not to mention global warming. There is limestone-clay which leads to more structured wines of ageing potential and then sandy, gravelly soils on the river banks which produce lighter and more aromatic wines. Les Barnabes comes from plantings on these more free draining (Alluvial) soils and yet it has a sublime structure that matches its inviting aromatic spectrum. The domaine is now certified organic (since 2015) although the farming has been sustainable for much longer. Winemaking for Les Bernabes, which is their lightest wine, is fairly cool for reds, looking to preserve as much fragrance as possible with less extraction of colour and tannins from the skins. This doesn’t see any oak either (fairly often Chinon seems to have Brett, which is a bacteria that stays in oak barrels after use, and can give the wines a really overpowering farmyard character) which is a great thing in my opinion! I loved this, it gave all the classic Cab Franc bell pepper spice alongside red and blue fruits. Spice again on the back palate, this time more herbal than peppery. These make great food wines, and are really versatile, I’d even pair this with richer seafood dishes if you wanted something a bit more robust!

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