A leading single-vineyard red from a natural Cabernet Franc producer in the Loire Valley. Les Peuilles is a special site for this small family operation, a "lieu dit" near the village Beaumont-En-Véron where the soils are of flinty clay. The grapes are hand harvested then fermented naturally, after which they spend 6-12 months on traditional large format vessels of old oak and chestnut. With a subtle generosity but plenty of poise and minerality, the Les Peuilles is a delight.
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 two main types of soil, one gravel-based and the other clay-limestone-based. Raffault farms parcels totalling 24 hectares of vines–23 planted to Cabernet Franc and 1 to Chenin Blanc—with vines averaging about 30 years.
The farming is certified organic and harvest is manual. This minimalist approach in the vineyard extends to the cellar. The fruit is destemmed, with the whole berries going uncrushed into tank for fermentation with native yeasts.
93/100 J. d'Angelo, International Wine Report, September 2020 (2018 Vintage)
"The 2018 'Les Peuilles' opens with inviting aromatics of raspberries, violets, smoldering ash, pepper and a lovely zesty character, which all take shape beautifully in the glass. The palate this medium-bodied is classy and refined, with a gorgeous silky texture and remarkable overall balance, with gorgeous underlying acidity that frames the fruit as it glides into the pretty finish. Overall, a simply sensational Cabernet Franc, which beautifully showcases its terroir."