WTN: More Rayas magic

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WTN: More Rayas magic

Postby Salil » Thu Nov 22, 2012 12:24 pm

Two bottles, opened in the last couple of weeks. Both sublime.

1996 Château Rayas Châteauneuf-du-Pape Reserve
Fantastic wine. Classic Rayas fragrance of pure red fruits, earth and white pepper, and a palate presence that's pure silk with gentle, fine grained tannins and a bright acid spine beneath. Long, pure, beautifully balanced. Still rather youthful, but wonderful.

1994 Château Rayas Châteauneuf-du-Pape Reserve
That Rayas magic again; 14% alcohol Grenache, and yet it has the refinement, finesse and delicate touch of a great Burgundy. Gorgeous fragrance of white pepper, pure red fruits and mature leathery and earthy elements, so elegant and silken on the palate and showing amazing purity, presence and persistence.

I need more Rayas in the cellar...
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Re: WTN: More Rayas magic

Postby Gary Kahle » Thu Nov 22, 2012 1:02 pm

I'm with you on "needing more Rayas in the cellar". I don't think I've ever seen it for sale in MI but I have been lucky to pick up some while traveling.
I opened a 1994 for a couple friends who were visiting here for MoCool and it was outstanding. I also have one 1996 remaining, a 1997 and six 1995's.
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Re: WTN: More Rayas magic

Postby Salil » Thu Nov 22, 2012 1:10 pm

The 1995 is really something. One of the most amazing wines I've ever experienced.
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Re: WTN: More Rayas magic

Postby Eric Texier » Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:57 pm

1995 is one of the greatest wines produced post 1985. But in perspective of the vintage, 1994 is one of the very best wine produced in France. How , the fuck Emmanuel Reynaud, and Jacques before him, does this? I would give my remaining Gentaz just to know 10% of it...
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Re: WTN: More Rayas magic

Postby Lars Carlberg » Fri Nov 23, 2012 6:02 am

Eric Texier wrote:1995 is one of the greatest wines produced post 1985. But in perspective of the vintage, 1994 is one of the very best wine produced in France. How , the fuck Emmanuel Reynaud, and Jacques before him, does this? I would give my remaining Gentaz just to know 10% of it...


The 1995 Rayas is indeed a great wine. In February 2010, I opened my lone bottle alongside 1995s from Trévallon, Auguste Clape, Jean-Louis Chave (including Hermitage blanc), Beaucastel, Pégau Cuvée Laurence, Vieux Télégraphe, Vieux Donjon, and Henri Bonneau Réserve des Célestins. I purchased these on release. We also had a 1996 Léon Barral Jadis in the mix (though I've always favored the regular Faugères from Didier Barral). All the wines showed very well. Chave and Rayas were most impressive, as was Vieux Télégraphe. Unfortunately, the Clape Cornas was corked, but I had this vintage numerous times before, including bottles at Willi's Wine Bar in Paris. It's one of my favorites. (John Livingstone-Learmonth is spot-on.)

As for 1994, I've had a number of great bottles from the Rhône, including Châteauneufs from Clos du Mont-Olivet, Clos des Papes, Vieux Télégraphe, Pégau Cuvée Réservée and Cuvée Laurence, and Vieux Donjon, among others. From the northern Rhône, I've liked J-L Chave, Auguste Clape, and Thierry Allemand Reynard from this vintage. In Bandol, I would include 1994 Domaine Tempier La Tourtine as another favorite.
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Re: WTN: More Rayas magic

Postby Jenise » Sun Nov 25, 2012 12:45 pm

I've only had two Rayas in my life, and both were amazing almost beyond description. I'm surprised the name doesn't come up more often.
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Re: WTN: More Rayas magic

Postby Salil » Sun Nov 25, 2012 1:32 pm

I've been hooked on Rayas ever since a generous friend hosted this tasting and gave me a chance to sit down with several bottles and really get an appreciation of what makes it so unique. It's singular, thrilling wine, though the price and availability are probably why there aren't more posts on it - it's a pain finding bottles. (Though there are a couple of restaurant lists in NY that have rather nice selections of Rayas at great prices. :mrgreen: )
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Re: WTN: More Rayas magic

Postby Lars Carlberg » Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:14 pm

Salil: Lucky you. Château Rayas is an idiosyncratic estate with some truly great wines. By the way, all the Châteauneufs are labeled Réservé, including Pignan.
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