23/08/2009 – Olga Raffault, Chinon Les Barnabés 2007

Olga Raffault, Chinon Les Barnabés 2007, France
Most people are familiar with the great white wines of the Loire Valley, like Sancerre and Vouvray. But a lot of fresh, lighter red wine is made here too, much of it from the Cabernet Franc grape. This example from the Chinon appellation has very clear, crisp, bright and crunchy blackberry and raspberry fruit, but a decisive tang of something mineral and smoky too. On the palate, it is very fresh indeed – it is the antithesis of big, vanilla-rich Cabernet Sauvignons and Syrahs, instead being lithe and crisp, with plenty of acidity and an almost white wine-like vibrancy. £8.95, FromVineyardsDirect.com.