One of the best new whites in months
French Chenin Blanc from Chinon is pretty rare stuff and this lively Loire Valley white is an excellent example, from Domaine Olga Raffault; unquestionably one of the long time reference points for top quality traditional Chinon wines.
The history of this domaine is intriguing. Olga and her husband Pierre operated the estate together until he died unexpectedly just before harvest in 1947. Alone with two small children, Olga was left to run the business but was ably assisted for the vintage by employee Ernest Zenninger, a German prisoner who had found refuge and work at Raffault at the end of the war. Ernest stayed on, becoming the winemaker and working closely with Olga’s son Jean Raffault. The two of them ran the estate as a team for decades, under Olga’s watchful eye, until Jean’s daughter Sylvie and her husband Eric de la Vigerie took over about 10 years ago. The farming is certified organic and harvest is manual.
This minimalist approach in the vineyard extends to the cellar. Destemmed fruit goes uncrushed with whole berries into tank for fermentation with native yeasts.
Buy here: https://www.regionalwines.co.nz/products/olga-raffault-chinon-champ-chenin-18