One could become addicted to Rayas wines. The rich aromatic herbal reds and the intense complex whites. The red wines are unique. Contrary to the common belief that good Châteauneuf-du-Pape should be made from a blend of grape varieties, at Rayas only the Grenache is used and only old vines from north facing slopes. The result is a wine that will age for 20 years or more. A longer than normal period in cask only adds to the complexity and depth of the wines. These wines are full of personality. The Château Rayas red has a huge exotic bouquet with hints of black-cherry fruit and staggering concentration. On the palate the wine is almost Port like in texture with great intensity and gorgeous voluptuous flavours.
The most iconic of all the Chateauneuf estates. The highly individual Jacques Reynaud was responsible for making this wine, only using the Grenache grape from very old, low yielding vines. However, this works as the property is on cooler sand and clay soils, whereas the typical Chateauneuf terrain consists of large flat stones which would excessively heat up the Grenache. Undoubtedly this is the most complex, rich, ripe and exotic of all the Chateauneufs, gloriously atypical and a rule unto itself.
Serena Sutcliffe, MW