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Community Tasting Notes (111) Avg Score: 91.2 points

  • Olga Raffault Les Picasses - Past & Present Tasting (New York, NY): Library release bottle. Stood up for 24 hours prior to serving. Fill level was to the middle of the neck. Cork was intact with minimal seepage . Black charcoal looking substance (assume dried wine) under foil on top of cork. Slow ox'd for 1 hour prior to tasting. Color was red with moderate browning. Lovely nose of fruit and earth, quite aromatic. On the palate this had a very complete balance of plummy fruit, acidity and earth with a great finish. Mature but - still very much alive. Ready to drink and enjoy now, but expect these have another decade of life ahead. Clearly my favorite wine of the flight and WOTN.

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  • The wine opens with a gorgeous warm horse barn earthiness, and that remains the primary smell in the glass. It looks thin and a little tired and it is anything but that. Bright red fruit, surprisingly prominent acidity - though not in the slightest out of balance - and a lengthy finish. The green pepper flavor is present but repressed. Earthy flavors in the mouth and on the finish. If I had not seen what it looked like I think I would be hard-pressed to pick it as 26 years old. Ten maybe. Fresh and vibrant still. I put it a notch below the 1989 of this same wine.

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  • Flowers, earth, anise, dark berries, and leather notes on the nose. Nice balance. Good acidity with herbs and berries on the palate. Nice finish. Great mature Cab Franc.

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  • Two hour decant, the nose began with a very strong barnyard/zoo funk that blew off with decant time though it still lingered slightly throughout drinking the bottle. The palate is very chinon region in all respects, with strong savory elements and an intense greenness to it, with little fruit apparent. The finish is fantastic and very long. A great reminder of why cab franc is one of my favorite varietals, especially from this and nearby regions like Saumur.

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  • Funky and a little brett a la poop on the nose. Also: leaves and earth, leather and a tiny touch of red berry. Very elegant and silky feel with nice acidity and a touch of spice on the finish. $110 off Metier's list.

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View From the Cellar

  • By Richard Jennings
    5/25/2009, (See more on 92 points

    (Olga Raffault Chinon Les Picasses) Medium garnet red color with clear meniscus; big herbaceous, olive, tobacco nose; focused, pointed, tart and ripe Cab Franc, tart red fruit, mineral and tart cherry palate; medium finish 92+ pts.
  • By Richard Jennings
    11/27/2008, (See more on 93 points

    (Olga Raffault Chinon Les Picasses) Medium red violet color; smoky, iron, olive and pepperoni nose; great, tart, herbaceous, olive, pepperoni, iron and blood palate; medium-plus finish 93+ pts.

Wine Library TV

  • By Gary Vaynerchuk
    WBW French Cabernet Franc, Episode #435, 4/2/2008, (See more on Wine Library TV...) 87 points

    (Olga Raffault Chinon Les Picasses) #3; VaynerPAZZZ; COLOR-medium dark; NOSE-solid barnyard poop components (like a 4H Fair); TASTE-very classic; lighter mouthfeel than the 2 previous wines; I like the complexity & inkiness; beautiful cabbage flavors on the mid-palate; dry & tart; smooth; a little tired (it might be taking a nap at 4:30pm while watching "Matlock"); missing a little pizzazz; a little lighter and awkward than I expected; I like, but a PAZZZ for $42 bones; drink now; JG-92; GV-87


  • By Jon Rimmerman
    2/29/2008, (See more on Garagiste...)

    (RAFFAULT Chinon Picasses) Friday SPECIAL - 1990

    Dear Friends,

    This was just confirmed and it is quite dear to my heart. I now we’ve already had a Friday Special so I'll call this Friday Special - 1990.

    I’ve seen bottles of this wine around, originally released 15 years ago, but this is the first true library stock I’ve come across - it has not been sitting around in the US waiting for a home or languishing in a warehouse somewhere. This is a very unique opportunity to experiment with an aged bottle of Chinon from a great vintage - at a very enticing Friday Special price.

    You can do whatever research you need to but this is an absolute steal of a deal from a wine region most of us rarely see with significant age. Let’s face it, there is a lot of 1990 Bordeaux on the market - it’s not what I would call hard to find if you have the funds to support the habit - but 1990 Chinon? Now that’s rare.

    As in Bordeaux, the Cabernet Franc of Chinon had a stellar vintage in 1990 and this wine is a testament to just how gracefully the toothy and tannic wines of this area can age - almost a combination of aged Gevrey and St. Estephe with a wild streak of animal and forest floor. The lean and whimsical nature of aged Loire Cabernet Franc is not for everyone but it is certainly worth the educational exercise alone as a litmus test of your own palate and taste for older wine. Those of you that already know you lean toward the esoteric message in a bottle quality of this region, can jump in with abandon.

    A rare opportunity to get inside the often eccentric glass elevator of aged Chinon - it just may change the perception and direction of your wine cellar at a price that can make all of us question why we spend extreme sums on older wine when we simply don’t need to.

    ONE SHIPMENT ONLY at this price with perfect provenance

    1990 Olga Raffault Chinon “Les Picasses” (Cabernet Franc)

    Please give us your maximum number and we will allocate accordingly

    Thank you,

    Jon Rimmerman
    Seattle, WA


Rockss and Fruit

  • By Lyle Fass
    1/12/2008, (See more on Rockss and Fruit...)

    (Olga Raffault Chinon Les Picasses) Is there a better deal in fine aged red wine from France on the market right now? This showed better than I remember. Last time I had this was in April and I do not remember it being this good. Profoundly funky noseof herbs, VA, nuts, red fruits and wet earth. Oh yeah this was the Raffault barnyard in full effect. The palate was wonderfully cocnentrated and almost decadent in a Chinon-herbal-slightly unripe-fecal-only in the Loire Valley kind of way. Really unique palate with layers of fruit/earth/herbs/mineral assaulting your palate like a good layer cake at your Great Aunt's shiva. Great wine as it got the metaphors going big time.


  • By Chris Kissack
    November 2007, (See more on Winedoctor...) 16.5 points

    (Olga Raffault Chinon Les Picasses) A quite mature hue in the glass, with a deeply pigmented core fading out to a dusky, almost oxblood rim with a tinge of orange-pink at the edge. It has an immediately meaty character, the wine releasing these aromas from the bottle before I even have a chance to pour it into the glass. Beyond this, the nose is one of subtle complexities, showing a rather hard core of iron-bound fruit, with notes of black olives and some chalky minerality. It is lean and ungiving on entry, but shows a little flesh through the midpalate, just enough to cover its bones, although it has a lovely silky-sweet character, which vies for your attention, its competitors being some peppery tannins and a nicely perfumed, violet tinged fruit. Rather drying tannic on the finish, but mixed with a nice texture too, and overall this wine still shows a good level of well balanced structural components. And there is rather a nice length, where a little sweet fruit persists on the palate. To be critical, although there is some attractive feminine perfume to it, it does seem a little angular here and there, the flesh underneath that appealing texture is a little deficient, and it is a little hot on the finish. A little more integration would be more appealing, but I am not convinced the wine has the stuffing necessary to give the tannins time to settle out. Nevertheless, it has a very elegant style, and it has freshness, and both of these are under-rated components of a wine. This is good to drink.

Rockss and Fruit

  • By Lyle Fass
    4/26/2007, (See more on Rockss and Fruit...)

    (Olga Raffault Chinon "Les Picasses") I never knew shit could smell so good. Well..actually I did. Also there was exotic spice, clover, red fruits and three footbal fields of barnyard aromas. But oh so alluring. Palate was ripe and voluptious with sweet tannins and an intriguing herbal aspect. If you wanted to nitpick the acidity was a bit low but that is if you are really looking for something wrong with this wine. It was positively decadent wine and a testament to how great Chinon cna be with some age. The palate had a laciness that is similar to nice aged Burgundy. Great stuff. I gave a sip to some guy who was drinking some horrible over-oaked California Sangiovese next to me and he hated it. Actually made a face. Different strokes.

NOTE: Some content is property of View From the Cellar and and Wine Library TV and Garagiste and Rockss and Fruit and Winedoctor.

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