CHARACTERISTICS OF THE ESTATE & THE CUVÉE
Country/region: Rhône Valley
Estate: Château Rayas
Owner: Emmanuel Reynaud
Area: 8 ha
Yield: 20 hl/ha
Production: 24,000 bottles
Grape varieties: 98% Grenache, 2% other Châteauneuf grape varieties
ABOUT THE DOMAIN
In the firmament of the great wines of France, Château Rayas is a star that shines with a singular light. For many aficionados, it is simply the best of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation. Founded by Louis Reynaud in the 1920s, the estate has always followed its own path, yielding neither to the conventions nor to the traditions of the region. In an appellation known for its strong summer heat, part of its vineyard is cleverly exposed to the north, offering the vines a welcome freshness coming from the pines which surround the estate. Louis Reynaud has chosen to mainly favor Grenache, even though the appellation has thirteen different ones. His son, Jacques, with his unique character and eccentric personality, took the estate to unparalleled heights, while remaining faithful to traditional methods. Today, it is Emmanuel Reynaud, the nephew, who perpetuates the family legacy.
ABOUT THE CUVÉE
The exception of Château Rayas is revealed in its blend, dominated almost entirely by Grenache, representing around 98% of the blend. Yields are deliberately low, reaching only 18 hectoliters per hectare, to allow the exceptional terroir to fully express itself. Unlike many other areas of the appellation, the soil here is sandy, devoid of the famous rolled pebbles – according to legend, Louis Reynaud even removed them by hand. Fermentation is carried out in concrete vats, followed by aging for 20 months in old oak barrels. In its best vintages, Château Rayas offers unparalleled smoothness, with breathtaking aromas of cherry and raspberry. It is a wine that combines finesse and power, clearly standing out from its counterparts in the appellation. It should also be noted that the estate produces a second wine, Château Pignan, which, although a shadow of the first, is of impeccable quality.