Olga Raffault, Chinon, Picasses 2011
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
From a warm, generous vintage, the dark cherry-colored 2011 Chinon Les Picasses offers an elegant bouquet of red and dark fruits intertwined with earthy, herbal and green asparagus aromas. On the palate, this is an elegant, lighter but well-concentrated Les Picasses. The finish reveals ripe and sweet red cherry fruit, whereas the tannins are fine but a bit more astringent than in the younger vintages. The wine was picked early, on September 20th.
Les Picasses is the most famous Chinon lieu-dit, close to the village of Beaumont-En-Véron on the north bank of the Vienne River. It is a slope with full southern exposure and chalky clay-limestone soils, the combination resulting in fully ripened, structured wines. Raffault's mid-slope vines are at least 50 years old and are worked organically and harvested by hand. The fruit is destemmed and the whole, uncrushed berries are fermented with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel tank; fermentation and maceration last for 25-30 days, depending on the vintage. The wine is aged for 2-3 years in oak and chestnut foudres ranging from 30-50 hectoliters; it is then further aged in tank and bottle before release about four years after the vintage. Les Picasses is the fullest-bodied, most structured and most complex of the Raffault reds.