ABOUT THIS WINE
A peculiarity of this Châteauneuf du Pape is its blend, which contains an overwhelming proportion of the Grenache grape – about 98%. Flavoring low yields (barely 18 hectolitres per hectare), the winemaker seeks to let an exceptional terroir speak for itself: the sandy soil does not contain the famous pudding stones so typical of the appellation (Louis Reynaud is thought to have removed them by hand!). Fermentation takes place in concrete vats, and élevage (20 months) is conducted in old oak barrels.
ABOUT THIS PRODUCER
The history of the Reynaud family at Rayas started in 1880 when a notary from the Avignon area Albert Reynaud became deaf when he was 45 years of age. He had to change profession and bought Chateau Rayas.
His son Louis inhereted the property. Of course Louis had to arrange the future for his two sons. For the oldest son Bernard he bought another property Chateau des Tours in Sarrians in 1935. In 1945 he also purchaced vineyards located in Lagarde-Paréol. The wines from here were made at Rayas. After the death of Louis his youngest son Jacques inherited the two estates, Rayas and Fonsalette and were the owner of the two domains from 1978 until he suddenly died in 1997.
As Jacques had no heirs to take over his nephew Emmanuel owner of Chateau des Tours became the 4. Reynaud at Chateau Rayas.
Jacques Reynaud succeded in making Chateau Rayas one of the most famous, most rewarded and most expensive wines of the appellation. You can't say he did much in marketing. Many wine writers have visited the place and have left it without many comments from Reynaud. He was really a loner and some would call him a very excentric person. His cellars were not known as the most clean ones you could imagine. Probably none of the barrels have been renewed since Emmanuel became the owner. Most of them might very well be from the time of Louis Reynaud.
If you visit the cellar and have had the priviledge also to visit the cellars of Henri Bonneau you will discover for the second time and be finally convinced that a high tec winery is not absolutely needed to make world class wines.
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