The elegant 2006 Rayas Chateauneuf du Pape is not as powerful as the 2005 or 2007, but it offers a deep ruby color as well as opulent, fleshy, kirsch and black raspberry characteristics along with hints of spring flowers and loamy soil. A sexy, showy, beautifully balanced, silky effort, it is already approachable, and should drink well for two decades.,
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
-Wine Advocate #179 Oct 2008
Tasting through all three components that go into the 2006 Rayas Chateauneuf du Pape, I rated them between 92-95 and 92-94, so this is going to be a top-notch Rayas that will eclipse some of the earlier vintages that Emmanuel Reynaud made, such as the 1998, 1999, and 2000. The wine should be noted for its glorious concoction of kirsch liqueur, black raspberries, resiny notes, and flowers. Beautifully pure, full-bodied, opulent, and fleshy, with low acidity but ripe tannin, the wine is voluptuous, rich, and undeniably sexy and showy at present. I think this wine has such great balance that it is going to be deceptively delicious when released, but will aged effortlessly because of that balance for 15-20 years.
This great estate has been going through a transitional period, with some replanting in their vineyards, and of course the enormous challenge of replacing the legendary proprietor and winemaker, the late Jacques Reynaud, who passed away in the winter of 1997. Replaced by his nephew Emmanuel Reynaud, who had worked closely with his uncle, the early vintages, as I reported on in this publication, were good but hardly exciting. Reason to be concerned about the direction in which the estate was going was a legitimate worry. The 1998, 1999, and 2000 vintages were vintages where Rayas was well behind the pack of top producers in Chateauneuf du Pape. However, with that said, the tasting I did with Emmanuel Reynaud in late August was the best tasting I have done with him in a decade, and while it may be premature to say that Rayas is back to the greatness of Jacques Reynaud, Emmanuel has made some fabulous wines that are going to be released over the next several years. Drink: 2007 - 2027
-Wine Advocate #173 Oct 2007
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