(basically 100% grenache): Deep red with a bright rim. A kaleidoscopic bouquet evokes red and dark berry preserves, blood orange and lavender, with deeper cherry pit and licorice qualities adding power. Sweet, expansive and pure, offering intense raspberry, bitter cherry and floral pastille flavors supported by a firm spine of acidity. Shows excellent clarity and power on the finish, which is given shape by fine-grained, sweet tannins. I underestimated this wine from barrel last year.
The 2009 Rayas Chateauneuf du Pape is an awesome example of elegance combined with extraordinary power. The alcohol levels must be between 15.5% and 16%, but the elegance and sublime nature of this wine make it irresistible. Its dense ruby/purple color is followed by an extraordinary bouquet of framboise, black cherry liqueur intermixed with blacker fruits, licorice and a hint of flowers. Pure with terrific layers of fruit concentration (although it's remarkably light on its feet), silky tannins, well-integrated acidity and a stunning personality, this monumental Rayas is breathtaking. This beauty will undoubtedly be drinkable early on (although Emmanuel Reynaud considers that to be infanticide), and it is capable of lasting 25-30 years.