Olga Raffault Chinon Les Barnabes 2018
100% Cabernet Franc. Domaine Olga Raffault is unquestionably one of the long-time reference points for top-quality, traditional Chinon wines. Raffault is in the Véron, a wedge-shaped strip of land where the Vienne River intersects with the much larger Loire. Véron is temperate, humid, and low-lying, with some small hills, and perfect for Cabernet Franc. The farming is certified organic and harvest is manual. This minimalist approach in the vineyard extends to the cellar. Today, Olga's grand-daughter, Sylvie, and her husband Eric de la Vigerie, run the winery in much the same way that Olga did. Les Barnabés stands apart from Raffault's other main sites, Les Picasses and Les Peuilles, still in the Véron region but far to the west and downhill on a plain of alluvial soils near the Loire River. The sandy, gravelly site yields a lighter style of Cabernet Franc more approachable with less aging compared to the other two. It is fermented at cool temperatures and aged in tank to preserve the freshness and brightness of the fruit. We absolutely love this Cabernet Franc, and the grape in general, and this wine shows that few domaines are on the same level as Olga Raffault when it comes to this grape.