The 2003 Rayas Chateauneuf du Pape has gone from strength to strength and now looks to be the finest vintage since the monumental 1995. Deep ruby to the rim with that classic Rayas nose of flowers, kirsch liqueur, black raspberries, crushed rocks, and minerals, the wine is dense and concentrated, with a broad, savory mouthfeel, sweet yet silky tannin, fabulous persistence, and a blockbuster finish that just goes on and on. This is a reassuringly profound Rayas that seems to suggest that Emmanuel Reynaud has finally figured out this cold-climate terroir in a warm climate appellation. This wine should be given 3-4 years of bottle age, and drunk over the following 20+ years. (RP)
*Collectibles* Lovely perfume, with tightly woven red and black cherry, graphite, incense, mineral and sous bois notes that stay fresh and focused thanks to finely imbedded acidity. Stylish finish. (JM)
‘Only’ 14% alcohol. Wondrous brightness and head-filling aroma. At first, simple sweet raisiny Grenache – but this is deceptive. Actually enormous complexity and layers: raspberry jam, heady Indian spice, hint of black olive, earth. Lovely harmony and sweetness on the palate. Delicate yet no lack of intensity, and despite vintage and appellation, a wine that appeals above all to Burgundy lovers. The more it opens, the more Rhônish the flavours become, and yet the more delicate and atypical the structure. 18.5/20 points (AH)
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