2015 Jean Maurice Raffault Chinon Rose
"J-M Raffault’s Chinon Rosé is considered the finest of the Loire Valley. It is made from 100% Cabernet Franc grapes planted on alluvial sand and gravel soils on the former Loire river bed. Raffault picks the fruit dedicated to the Rosé at the start of his harvest period, when it typically has attained one degree less in sugar than that of the Chinon Les Galuches, which is picked next.
All the fruit is selected on a sorting table before entering the press by gravity, and is never pumped. To enhance the quality of the Rosé, Rodolphe Raffault uses only pressed juice that is selected and vinified parcel by parcel. To ensure that the juice is as pure as possible, Raffault uses minimal pressure and fanatically avoids any possibility of oxygenation. And he uses only the juice obtained at the middle stage of the pressing, eliminating the first and last parts because they are not as pure. One day after the pressing, Raffault thoroughly clarifies the must (débourbage) to remove any solids that might diminish the wine’s aromatics and taste. Raffault ferments the Chinon Rosé at low, controlled temperatures (15-17 C) using only the grapes' native yeast until it is fully dry.
The constant, cool temperature maintains the wine's natural CO2 level, one of the keys to the Rosé’s vivacity. The low temperature also prevents the start of malolactic fermentation while the Chinon Rosé develops on its fine lees in tank for 5 months. Before bottling in late February, the wine is racked to diminish the level of CO2, and is then lightly filtered to ensure clarity.
Rodolphe Raffault reports that he started picking his Cabernet Franc grapes destined for the 2015 Chinon Rosé on September 25th. This was about one week earlier than in 2014, but the current vintage has greater concentration due to a higher level of maturity and lower quantity of juice in the grapes. The 2015 Rosé is “round and fresh with aromas of ripe red berry and cherry fruit. It is a little richer than the 2014 because the grapes were riper at harvest and the yield was lower.” It has a long, fresh and succulent finish." - Importer