Wine of the Day: Olga Raffault Chinon Les Picasses, Loire 1990 6-10-16

chinoOlga Raffault Chinon Les Picasses, Loire 1990 750ML ($69.95) Buy Now: $59 special

Were the Loire Valley to be a house, the ‘Les Picasses’ vineyard would be the attic: full of secrets, haunted if by history, and unscathed by the harsh hand of modernity. Domaine Olga Raffault, now run by Mme. Raffault’s grandaughter Sylvie and Sylvie’s husband Eric, is the perfect guide to the tour of this beautiful – if fictitious – house.

‘Les Picasses’ sits atop the steep slopes along the Vienne River in Savigny-en-Véron, a bucolic little commune east of Saumur and south of Bourgueil. Vines there are roughly fifty years in age, planted in alluvial clay soils with a chalk-limestone base. Chez Raffault winemaking is careful, organic, and traditional. Grapes are hand-harvested and then fermented in stainless steel before resting in larger wood – sometimes chestnut – barrels for up to three years.

In short, the 1990 ‘Les Picasses’ is nothing short of brilliant. Brambly black fruit meld with soft leather notes, stewed tomato, black olive, and tangy cranberry. Would be great with roasted, herb-heavy meat dishes; spend a few hours sifting through the layers and you’ll be surely rewarded. – Tyler