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Executive editor Thomas Matthews joined Wine Spectator in 1988. His tasting beat is Spain.
Thomas Matthews

An Old Red on a Summer's Night

Olga Raffault Chinon Les Picasses 1989

Thomas Matthews
Posted: July 31, 2012

Vacation over, we returned to Brooklyn and spent a weekend cleaning house, tending the garden and paying bills. We felt a long way from Edisto Beach, S.C., our paradise by the sea.

Sara picked up some loin lamb chops from Aberdeen Hill, a farm in the Finger Lakes region of New York that raises their animals using natural and sustainable methods, without hormones or antibiotics. The meaty chops were only $12 per pound at our Park Slope Food Coop. I grilled them and served them with ratatouille Sara made from vegetables we bought at our local farmers’ market that morning. A locavore feast!

To console us for the end of vacation, I pulled an old Chinon from the cellar, a gift from our friend Jim Anderson for some party in the past. It showed both the virtues of great Cabernet Franc from the Loire Valley, and the importance of good storage. The wine was mature yet still very fresh, deep ruby in color, silky in texture, with plum, tobacco and light herbal flavors that were harmonious and long. I rated it 93 points, non-blind. It almost made leaving the beach painless.

WineSpectator.com members: Get scores and tasting notes for recently rated Chinons.

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