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1998 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Château de Rayas

1998 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Château de Rayas

Red | Drink now | Code:  920461 | 1998 | France > Rhône > Châteauneuf-du-Pape | Grenache/Garnacha | Medium-Full Bodied, Dry | 14.0 % alcohol


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Scores and Reviews

The Wine Advocate


The Wine Advocate - The 1998 Rayas has sweet kirsch liqueur notes, the color is disturbingly light, which doesnt normally bother me, but there is also burgeoning orange and rust at the edge. The wine is medium to full-bodied, displays loads of cedar, loamy soil notes, balsam wood, pepper, and garrigue. There is nothing wrong with this wine, and if you havent had any of the really great vintages of Rayas (1981, 1985, 1989, 1990, 1995), readers would probably think its a super wine. However, I have had great ones, and drink them quite frequently, so for me this is just a good, not profound Rayas. Moreover, I think it needs to be consumed over the next 5-7 years before it loses any intensity.
Robert M. Parker, Jr. - 29/06/2010

Parker - There is no doubting the extraordinary depth and layers of flavor the 1998 Rayas Chateauneuf du Pape contains. The color is medium to deep ruby, and the bouquet offers aromas of ripe strawberry and cherry candy, with kirsch liqueur thrown in for additional interest. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied and fat, with high levels of sweet fruit, a velvety texture, multiple dimensions, and an explosive finish... My best guess is that this voluptuous, sexy Rayas should drink well young, yet age easily for 15-16 years. Do not be surprised to see it put on considerable weight over the next few years. 94/100 pts. (Robert Parker - Wine Advocate - Oct 2000)

The Grape



Grenache (Noir) is widely grown and comes in a variety of styles. Believed to originate in Spain, it was, in the late 20th century, the most widely planted black grape variety in the world. Today it hovers around seventh in the pecking order. It tends to produce very fruity, rich wines that can range quite widely in their level of tannin.

In many regions – most famously the Southern Rhône, where it complements Syrah and Mourvèdre, among other grapes – it adds backbone and colour to blends, but some of the most notable Châteauneuf du Pape producers (such as Château Rayas) make 100 percent Grenache wines. The grape is a component in many wines of the Languedoc (where you’ll also find its lighter-coloured forms, Grenache Gris and Blanc) and is responsible for much southern French rosé – taking the lead in most Provence styles.

Found all over Spain as Garnacha Tinta (spelt Garnaxa in Catalonia), the grape variety is increasingly detailed on wine labels there. Along with Tempranillo, it forms the majority of the blend for Rioja’s reds and has been adopted widely in Navarra, where it produces lighter styles of red and rosado (rosé). It can also be found operating under a pseudonym, Cannonau, in Sardinia.


Beyond Europe, Grenache is widely planted in California and Australia, largely thanks to its ability to operate in high temperatures and without much water. Particularly in the Barossa Valley, there are some extraordinary dry-farmed bush vines, some of which are centuries old and produce wines of startling intensity.

The Region



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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