2006 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Château de Rayas

2006 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Château de Rayas

Red, Ready, but will improve   Red | Ready, but will improve | Chateau Rayas | Code: 8181 | 2006 | France > Rhône > Chateauneuf du Pape | Grenache/Garnacha | Medium-Full Bodied, Dry | 14.0 % alcohol

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Scores and Reviews

PARKER

93/100

PARKER - The elegant 2006 Rayas Chateauneuf du Pape is not as powerful as the 2005 or 2007, but it offers a deep ruby color as well as opulent, fleshy, kirsch and black raspberry characteristics along with hints of spring flowers and loamy soil. A sexy, showy, beautifully balanced, silky effort, it is already approachable, and should drink well for two decades.,

After going through a transitional period after Jacques Reynaud died in 1997, it is safe to say that his nephew, Emmanuel Reynaud, has returned this venerable estate to its previous level of high quality. While Chateauneuf du Pape is a warm appellation, Rayas is situated in a cool micro-climate, and is undoubtedly not an easy property to maintain. It is also known for its sandy soils, which are in total contrast to the rock-strewn plateau a half mile to the east, west, and south. Two utterly profound Rayas Chateauneuf du Papes have been produced recently, the 2005 and 2007. 2007 is a superb vintage at Chateau Rayas.
(Robert Parker - Wine Advocate #179 Oct 2008)

The Story

Chateau  Rayas

Producer

Chateau Rayas

Jacques Reynaud, who died in 1997, was one of the true characters in Châteauneuf. A notoriously shy and private man, he was known to avoid appointments by hiding in ditches that lined the rutted driveway leading to his château. However, he was recognised as one of the world's greatest winemakers and the legacy of Château Rayas is now continued by his son François.

So many practices here seem to run contrary to other producers in Châteauneuf - the 13 hectares of vines are north facing and contain none of the fabled "galets roulés". Only Grenache is used and yields at around 15hl/h are ridiculously low. Almost uniquely the wines are matured in the now rarely seen 450 litre "double-piéce" oak casks. These are substantial and exotically rich wines that are quite literally unique.

Grape

Grenache/Garnacha

Grenache/Garnacha

Grenache is the most widely planted black grape variety in the world. In the Southern Rhône it provides the backbone for most red blends and is the key component of Châteauneuf du Pape. Some Châteauneufs such as Château Rayas are even made from 100% Grenache. In the Languedoc it plays a key role in many blends and is responsible for much of the Rosé wine from Southern France.

It is the most extensively red wine grape grown in Spain where it is known as Garnacha Tinta - in Rioja it is blended with Tempranillo and is most widely planted in the warm Eastern Rioja Baja region. The very best Garnacha wines come from Priorat in Catalonia, where fruit from old Garnacha bush vines is blended with small quantities of Cabernet Sauvignon to produce wines of startling intensity and depth of fruit.

Grenache was once Australia`s most widely planted black grape but much of it was grubbed up in the 70s and early 80s to make room for more fashionable grapes. However plantings have been on the increase since the early 1990s and the best examples are found in the Barossa Valley from dry-farmed, bush-pruned, old Grenache vines.

Region

Chateauneuf du Pape

Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the largest and most important wine appellation in the southern Rhône. It is home to more than 3,200 hectares of vineyards and over 80 growers; more wine is produced in Châteauneuf than the whole of the northern Rhône put together. The vineyards are bounded to the west by the Rhône river and to the east by the A7 autoroute.

Châteauneuf-du-Pape was the first ever Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée established in France, in 1932. Small, rounded rocks from the ancient river bed known as galets roulés are a key aspect of what makes Châteauneuf -du-Pape wines so distinctive, with the rocks reflecting heat back into the vines at night, thus increasing ripeness and reducing acidity.

The gloriously rich red wines, redolent of the heat and herbs of the south, are enhanced by the complexity which comes from blending several grape varieties. Fourteen are permitted for reds: GrenacheMouvedreSyrah, Cinsault, Vaccarese, Counoise, Teret Noir, Muscadin, Picpoul Noir, Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Rousanne, Picpoul Gris and Picardin. With red Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Grenache typically dominates with Syrah and Mourvèdre in support.

White Châteauneuf-du-Pape is becoming increasingly sought-after, even though it represents less than 10 percent of the total production. Here, five grapes are permitted: Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Roussanne, Bourboulenc and Picardin.

Recommended Producers: Château de Beaucastel, Clos de Papes, Vieux Télégraphe, Château Rayas,, Domaine de la Charbonnière, Sabon, Château La Nerthe, Domaine Perrin

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