Chinon "La Singulière"

2014
France
Loire

100%  Cabernet Franc. "La Singulière" comes from a single Picasses parcel named Vaux, with 40-year-old vines that are certified organic and on limestone-rich clay soils like all of their Picasses holding. The yield is kept to 35hl/ha.  The wine starts out being made identically to the Picasses bottling: the bunches are destemmed with the berries left whole and fermented with indigenous yeasts in tank; the maceration is similar at about a month. La Singulière is the only Raffault wine to be aged in smaller oak vessels, specifically 500-liter tonneaux on the newer side (from 1-5 years of previous use) vs. the quite old and large 30-hectoliter foudres for Picasses. After two years in wood, the wine is bottled without fining or filtering. 2014 is the current vintage (and a first-time import for Louis/Dressner and Bowler). 

93 points
"This is the first vintage of Chinon “la Singulière” from Domaine Raffault that I have had the pleasure to taste. It is made from a choice parcel within the larger les Picasses vineyard and handled the same in the cellars up until its elevage, where it is aged in five hundred liter puncheons, ranging from one to five years of age, rather than in the traditionally older and much larger foudres for all the other bottlings here. The 2014 vintage of this bottling again comes in at the proper old school 12.5 percent level and delivers an excellent aromatic constellation of sweet 18 dark berries, cigar smoke, a fine base of soil tones, menthol, a touch of juniper berry and a deft framing of new oak tones from the fairly youthful (by Raffault standards) puncheons. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and still fairly chewy, with a fine core and mineral undertow, ripe, firm tannins, good focus and grip and a long, well-balanced and youthful finish. There are some oak tannins present here, which gives the wine a slightly more rigid personality today than the 2016 les Picasses, and these tannins will have to be waited out, but there is good stuffing to absorb them with bottle age and all this lovely wine needs is some time in the cellar to blossom. 2030-2065+"
John Gilman,
View from the Cellar
92+ points
"The 2014 Chinon La Singulière is based on the fruit from small yields in the oldest clay-limestone parcels of the domaine as well as a careful barrel selection after two to three years of aging. The wine opens pure and fresh but also quite toasty on the dark-toned, ethereal and elegant nose that reveals fir and forest floor aromas. Round, refined and very elegant on the palate, with liver flavors as well as a certain animal reduction, this is a full-bodied and tight yet juicy Chinon with fine tannins and an elegant freshness that will develop over the years in the bottle. Yet again, this doesn't yet kick me as much as the other cuvées of the domaine. Tasted in April 2021."
Stephan Reinhardt,
Wine Advocate
August 2021

SKU/Code: 
DB3798-14
Product Line: 
Wine
Red
Varietal: 
Cabernet Franc
Farming Type: 
Organic