A much lighter style of wine, but showing far better now that it has had some time in bottle, is Emmanuel Reynaud’s 2008 Rayas Chateauneuf du Pape. Medium ruby, with a classic nose of kirsch liqueur intermixed with Provencal herbs, sandy, loamy soil notes, some licorice and steak tartare, this wine is fleshy, medium to full-bodied, round, generous, and surprisingly seductive and luscious. I wouldn’t be surprised if many tasters prefer this over the bigger, richer, more structured and potentially far greater 2007, at least for the next 4-5 years. This is a sensational effort and one of the finest wines of the vintage, the most challenging year in Chateauneuf du Pape since the historical deluge in 2002. The current releases of Fonsalette include the 2007 and 2008 Cotes du Rhone, as the 2009s will not be released until next year, and the 2010s the year after.
Vivid red. Pure, expressive aromas of red and dark berries, potpourri, licorice and rose. Juicy, spicy and fresh, with sexy raspberry and cherry flavors accentuated by smoky minerality. Intense and light on its feet, finishing very long and aromatic, augmented by firm mineral cut and very impressive clarity.
An elegant style, with gentle cherry sauce, mulled raspberry and damson plum fruit lined with shiso leaf, rooibos tea, iron and sandalwood notes. A mineral twinge holds the finish, which is sneakily long. Drink now through 2025.
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