Best of the Best 2016: Leisure | International Red Wines: Château Rayas 2005 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Southern Rhône

Château Rayas 2005 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Southern Rhône is the top international red wine of 2016...

When Grenache is done well, it can offer one of the most profound sensory experiences on earth. Case in point: Château Rayas and its Châteauneuf-du-Pape—the Rayas flagship Grenache, a product of old vines, sandy soils, and traditional winemaking. Under the direction and ownership of Emmanuel Reynaud, Rayas now holds back vintages until they come into their own, a point the 2005 achieved last year. It is a necessary addition for a world-class wine cellar.  

Although this Châteauneuf-du-Pape is 100 percent Grenache, the Reynaud family also produces incredible Rhône blends, including Pignan Châteauneuf-du-Pape, La Pialade Côtes du Rhône, and wines from Château de Fonsalette and Château des Tours. All employ the same organic viticulture and precise traditional winemaking and are well worth seeking out.

  • The wine is one of the most sought-after in the world; production is limited to 1,000 to 1,500 cases per year.
  • The Rayas old vines are protected by a small forest that maintains a cooler temperature than that of neighboring vineyards.
  • The wine is made with whole clusters and natural yeast, and aged in enormous old oak foudres.

Château Rayas, ($600)

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