Chateau Rayas Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2005
97 points - Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, October 2008
I could not resist retasting the 2005 Rayas Chateauneuf du Pape. Until the 2007 is in bottle, the 2005 is clearly the greatest wine made at this estate since the 1995. Made from 100% Grenache, it boasts an unusually (for Rayas) dark ruby/purple-tinged color as well as an exceptionally sweet bouquet of black cherry jam, truffles, incense, licorice, and raspberries. Full-bodied with a stunningly rich, concentrated mouthfeel, an explosive mid-palate, and a finish that lasts more than a minute, it is a wine of superb power and intensity admirably displaying the terroir’s hallmark delicacy and ethereal nature. This utterly profound Chateauneuf du Pape should drink beautifully for 25+ years. 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 M. Parker, Jr.