Based on 25 reviews on Cellartracker.com
Reviews 98 points Wine Advocate "Its dense ruby/purple color is followed by an extraordinary bouquet of framboise, black cherry liqueur intermixed with blacker fruits, licorice and a hint of flowers. Pure with terrific layers of fruit concentration (although it's remarkably light on its feet), silky tannins, well-integrated acidity and a stunning personality, this monumental Rayas is breathtaking. (RP)" 96 points Vinous "Deep red with a bright rim. A kaleidoscopic bouquet evokes red and dark berry preserves, blood orange and lavender, with deeper cherry pit and licorice qualities adding power. Sweet, expansive and pure, offering intense raspberry, bitter cherry and floral pastille flavors supported by a firm spine of acidity. Shows excellent clarity and power on the finish, which is given shape by fine-grained, sweet tannins. (JR)"
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About Chateau Rayas
A renowned name in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Château Rayas breaks away from the norm with its exclusive sandy soil, as opposed to the galets roulés characteristic of the appellation. At the helm is Emmanuel Reynaud, grandson of the estate's founder, who meticulously manages the distinguished single vineyards — Le Couchant, Le Levant, and Le Coeur. Advocating organic practices, he predominantly cultivates Grenache, a homage to his conviction in the grape's potential despite the appellation permitting up to 13 different varietals.
The vineyards, nestled amidst pine trees, enjoy a distinctive microclimate. They are sheltered from the bracing mistral winds, resulting in a slower ripening process. Once harvested, Reynaud employs an extended fermentation process with the grapes still on their stems. The wines are then racked once into enamel cuves, aged in neutral oak casks and foudres, and ultimately bottled two years post-harvest, unfiltered and unfined, thus preserving their aromatic complexity.
Reynaud also operates Château des Tours, a family estate in Sarrians under a Côte du Rhône appellation, along with its secondary label, Domaine des Tours, a Vin de Pays de Vaucluse. These offer more accessible organic Grenache and Syrah bottlings.
Each varietal in Rayas' 13-hectare vineyard, uniquely north-facing and sans the quintessential round pebbles, undergoes separate fermentation in oak casks. Assemblage then occurs in enamel-lined tanks pre-bottling. This methodological winemaking, the estate's unusual terroir, and its secluded location near Courthézon contribute to the unique, savory, and complex signature of all Rayas wines, making them some of the most coveted in the appellation.
Château Rayas owns 23 hectares of land, 12 of which are vineyards. Apart from the exclusive sandy soils, their unique microclimate, brought about by surrounding pine and oak trees, and their northern exposure make Rayas the coolest terroir in Châteauneuf du Pape. This allows for the harvest of optimally ripe grapes while maintaining low alcohol levels, intense purity of fruit, and an elegant, silky style that truly sets Rayas apart.