Raffault Chinon - 2011

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    This wine is not only an amazing value but a fantastic red by any scale. Sweet smoke along with a nice tart finish and gentle tannins make for a truly superb wine.

Visual: wet rubies, claret, a grown-up’s version of black cherry Koolaid (and I mean that as nothing short of a fantastic compliment!), hints of purple, some very slight blueberry staining deep in the glass.

Aroma: warm, rich and loamy. Hints of smoke and maybe tobacco, followed by subtle cherries and dark fruits. Indeed, something playfully wicked this way comes.

Pallette: Nose does not disappoint, at all. Ripened cherries, gentle warmth on the backend. Roasted peppers, a hint of smokiness. Relaxed, easy tartness on the back.


Mouth: The tannins give it a rich, earthy mouthfeel that will NOT pucker you up. Very plump wine, not sharp at all.


Overall: Extremely easy-to-get-along-with red. If this is an exemplar of the cabernet franc grape then I am hugely pleased to make it’s acquaintance.


Coming to us from town of Chinon in Touraine, France this single grape wine (cabernet franc) from the estates of Jean-Maurice Raffault is an amazing value for what you are getting. Ok, first off I have to admit that I am relatively new at wine tasting, especially serious reds like this, however even at my early tutorage I can sense the beauty in this bottle. Unlike other reds this wine is more than comfortable letting you do the exploring. Some reds seem to come out of the bottle with an agenda and want you to taste this and smell that. Not this Les Galuches, it’s like a perfect dance partner that regardless of gender is comfortable enough in its own skin to let you lead.


At first I thought the nose was a cherry cordial without the sweetness, but it finally hit me. As I sit here writing this and drinking another glass the aroma reminds me more and more of my grandfather’s tobacco pouch. Just sweeter, like that year that grandma got him the cherry tobacco for Christmas. He hated it, but he worked through the whole pouch; he was a gentleman and didn’t want to disappoint her. The taste and the mouth completely live up to the promises the nose makes. I have to emphasize that this is not a placid wine that has no backbone, it does. It’s just so subtle in how it presents itself that you cannot help but feel embraced by this bottle. With every sip you feel yourself relax, knowing that this wine will take care of you.


And to be honest, I believe that this laid back approach is this wine’s strength. You could easily pair this wine with almost any food except the most aggressive dishes out there. For those you need a wine that can stand up to them and give as well as it gets. This Les Galuches is just simply not that, it never will be and never will want to be. And that is a good thing.

LesGaluches Labe 1


Availble in most places for $20 or under you can find it on sale for $15. Like I said, a bargain at twice the price.