The Wine

Chateau Rayas, Southern Rhone, France 2007

Profile: Château Rayas is a leading producer in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation of the Rhône Valley. It is one of the region's most prestigious estates, and its wines fetch some of the highest prices in southern France.

Much about Rayas is unusual. Firstly, the estate's red wine is made solely from Grenache, unlike most Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines that typically contain Syrah, Mourvèdre and a range of other varieties. Secondly, the 13 hectares (32 acres) of vineyards face north, and do not have any galets roulés, the rounded stones so closely associated with the appellation. Thirdly, the estate's wines are matured in rare double-piéce 450-liter barrels.

Tasting Notes: Rich Plums, Red Cherries, and Sweet Strawberry

Wine Facts

  • producer: Chateau Rayas
  • varietal: Grenache
  • country: France
  • vintage: 2007
  • region: Southern Rhone
  • size: 750ml

The Collector

Jacques CattierManaged inventory client since 2020.

“I was introduced to the magic of Rayas when I tried the 1990 vintage at Restaurant Troquet in Boston. It is a wine that uniquely has the ethereal texture and color of Burgundy and the intensity of Chateaneuf. I love putting wines away for my children and this 2007 was bought upon release in Manhattan and set aside for my son Julien for us to share together in the years ahead.”

It is a wine that uniquely has the ethereal texture and color of Burgundy and the intensity of Chateaneuf.

The Commentary

Vinfolio

“The Rayas reserve consists of 100 percent Grenache grapes grown from 12 hectares of vines in Chateauneuf du Pape. The sandy red soil in the vineyard is naturally cool to the touch throughout the season, which creates greater humidity than in other vineyards in Rhone. This means that even in the hottest, driest summers, the vines on Rayas retain moisture and coolness that keep the grapes from experiencing sun overexposure. As the coolest area in Chateauneuf du Pape, the Rayas estate allows their grapes to mature late into the harvest season, and are typically one of the last to harvest every year. The Reynaud family believes that aging their wines in only old oak contributes to the flavors of terroir. Yields are typically low on the estate, with about 1,100 cases produced every year.

In 2007, Rhone producers expected the crop to suffer from an unusually wet season, as rain came early and stayed throughout the spring. However, Rhone producers were surprised to find that the summer was unusually dry. The result was an especially tannic wine from Rayas, whose natural humidity coupled with the dry outside climate produced grapes that were riper and healthier than those from previous years.”