Olga Raffault 2008 Chinon Les Picasses

I bought a case of this on the recommendation of an Oregon wine merchant. It’s a somm favorite and it wasn’t very expensive – perhaps $30/btl?

It sat for 10 years in a storage facility.

Since returning to the United States, I’ve opened 4-5 bottles, and each has been really, really disappointing.

It’s just…dead.

The nose is of dried red/black fruits, grilled green peppers and curled leaves. All of which tell you the same thing: it’s past it.

I’m going to look for a very recent release of this so that I can see what it tastes like young. But I think the remaining bottles are going into a beef bourginon recipe or something like that.


  • Les Picasses is one of the most famous vineyards in Chinon, which is in the Loire Valley not far from Touraine. This is Cabernet Franc country.
  • Cabernet Franc is one of the parent grapes of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and several others. It’s medium-to-high tannins and acidity, red fruit and notably herbaceous (capsicum)
  • Olga Raffault is one of the top producers in Chinon and they age the wine for many years before release.
  • Winemaker’s notes: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.

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