TN: Rayas Vertical and why does 07 Rayas continue to suck?

Had dinner with @ToddFrench @Brent_S and a few others recently and our dinner focused on a small Rayas vertical.

Still don’t understand why the wood note is so prominent on some Rayas bottlings despite their use of very old wood barrels.

04 is great. 07 is not.

  • 2001 Château Rayas Châteauneuf-du-Pape Reserve - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (11/14/2022)
    Spice laden on the nose , felt chunky and structured on the palate with more time needed to soften the the wine. Flavor wise it was filled with strong muddled dark berry with a hint of glycerin that added a sappy weight to the finish.
  • 2004 Château Rayas Châteauneuf-du-Pape Reserve - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (11/14/2022)
    Really pure intense bright red fruit that shined through the whole evening. Long effortless drive into the finish. The sweet strawberry notes of the Rayas grenache glow in the wine and it dances with elegance. The only thing that detracted me from the wine is the oak notes I mentioned previously. Couldn’t shake it but fortunately it ebbed and flowed.
  • 2007 Château Rayas Châteauneuf-du-Pape Reserve - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (11/14/2022)
    the mighty 2007 Rayas, 100 points Parker. 50 points Fu. I legitimately do not understand what people are tasting when I read the CT notes on this wine. I’ve had this multiple times in its life and each time I come to the same conclusion. The wine is a candied, ripe, alcoholic. When people say “oh it’s new world” but in that type of tone where saying New World is the equivalent of telling someone they are in the lower 10% of the class, this is that level of New World Grenache. Most of us came in with similar experiences with the 07 and no one left with something different. Maybe it just needed to be in Magnum format and eaten with sushi to really appreciate it.
  • 2008 Château Rayas Châteauneuf-du-Pape Reserve - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (11/14/2022)
    the nose on the 08 is a joy to smell. Beautiful melange of baking spices, campfire, tea leaf and ethereal red fruit. Palate wise similar as the bottles in the last few years, really still quite shy. It’s mineral driven sweet red fruit but doesn’t have the length necessary to propel it to the next level at the moment. I’m sure with time it’ll get that extra gear. At least I hope so.

1 Like

Obviously, you failed to pair '07 Rayas en magnum with sushi. Heathens.

I agree; it is a disgusting gloppy mess. Right in the wheelhouse of the guy who rated it.

Next time, invite me and I’ll bring an '05, which is beginning to drink well.


I have no video because I’m not so fancy, and not an influencer, but I have brief notes, which align with yours for the most part, definitely not ‘50 points’ on the '07, which I actually enjoyed, and felt it was quite nice with the fruit.

2001 - earthy, mushroom, olive oil, red cherry, baking spice on the nose, bright palate, bracing acidity, red fruited, long finish, finely dusty tannins

2004 - wonderfully meaty quality on the nose, darker profile, saddle leather, Burgundy-like red berry on the palate

2007 - clean, floral, slightly shy nose, I enjoyed this much more than most who were vocally opposed to it, because I’m my own man

2008 - beautiful floral character on the nose, unique, perhaps a hint of flint, dark cherry, salinity, graphite, still so young but has all the components that one would expect to turn into something glorious


Only the real ones know :rofl:

And of course it only works if you say “en magnum.”

1 Like

Awesome video Charlie! This was a fun evening and, to make things even better, I was just told that the final bill came in lower so I’ll be sending a small refund to everyone!

I didn’t despise the 07 as much but it’s probably because I drank one a few months prior so I knew what to expect. The 08 took a bit to come around but once it did, wow. And yes the 04 was something really special.

Of major importance-we had a corked 2004 that we had to send back! So anyone out there willing to spend big money on these, you’ve been warned!


There ARE no Rayas magnums … at all.
There were a few (very rare) before 1995, but not since …

If you think 07 Rayas is disjointed, wait until you try 11 Pignan.
Not sure how Reynaud made it to 15° in 2011, but he did, and the results are borderline odd and undrinkable.


I agree. I have had this bottle twice, once at home and once at the restaurant at Domaine Les Crayeres. They tasted exactly the same each time, just like you described it. I have had a similar issue with '06 Pignan. I bought a case of '06 Pignan from Crush for $85/bottle in 2013 and have I poured a couple of bottles down the drain. Somm Picks now has it listed at $759 a bottle!! I have enjoyed many bottles of '05 Rayas (before the price jumped) and it drinks very well, nothing like the '07.

As an aside, I don’t think Rayas is worth the price any more. Back in the early '00’s I was drinking '89/'90 Rayas for $500/btl (same price as '90 La Chapelle), '89/'90 Pignan for $250 and '90/'91 Fonsalette for $100 at Harry’s New York and those were great drinking wines. Rayas was half the price of '82 Bordeaux on their list, Pignan was almost as good as Rayas and Fonsalette was at its peak and a bargain.

Unfortunately there are so many wines that I now place in the category of not worth it anymore.

1 Like

Is this really a surprise to anyone given the vintage as a whole? I’m tapping my memory banks regarding whether there is a 2007 Châteauneuf-du-Pape that I actually loved. Even the Rayas Gods are subject to the vagaries of the weather. And it is Grenache, which often gets spiky hot.

The 2008 is gorgeous, by comparison. And ironically, that is not a generally vaunted vintage in CDP. I like it, however.

1 Like

The 2008 is what I brought to Highlands. You swooned. Called it a perfect J-10.


2008 may still not be highly regarded, but great winemakers still made great wine that year. Charvin, Ferrand and, to my taste, Pegau, have, up to this point, always given me more pleasure than their 07 stablemates. Maybe that will change someday. Dan Kravitz disagrees with me on both counts (about the 08 and the 07) and he certainly has several orders of magnitude more experience than I do. But these wines are now 14 and 15 years old, and I would guess that they are what they are.

1 Like

I know - we decanted it a bit, this bottle needed more of that, was opened on the spot, as Fu insisted that would be fine

Can’t say I share your view of 2011s chez Reynaud. The bottles I’ve had have been some of the most ethereal, perfumed wines of Emmanuel’s career, more in the style of '08 than '09-'10 or certainly '07.

But 2011 wasn’t especially sun deprived in the southern Rhône. Back in those days I spent quite a bit of time in those parts, and one producer with holdings not far from Rayas confided in me that one of his cuvées hit 17.3% in 2011!

1 Like

I’m a big fan of 2007 Rayas. I found it to be a show stopper. On the other hand, I thought 2008 was far too green, herbaceous and with more green olives than fruit.

Different strokes …

1 Like

Maybe the restaurant received an odd bottling.
The color was borderline translucent.

The proprietor told us when we ordered the wine that he had had issues with prior bottles that he had sold.
We drank a 1/3 of the bottle and the rest went down the drain.


You missed the joke. Paging @M.Kaplan

Paging @Craig_G

I agree, as singular as Rayas is in CDP I don’t think it’s worth the 1500+ it’s demanding now. Especially with the intense bottle variation

1 Like

1-2 hrs wouldn’t have changed a thing. Which doesn’t matter as the restaurant didn’t listen to my decanting instructions anyways