Château Rayas Chateauneuf du Pape 2000
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Wine AdvocateThe 2000 Rayas Chateauneuf du Pape, which Emmanuel Reynaud believes is better than 1998, came in at a whopping 15.2% alcohol. It is reminiscent of a hypothetical blend of the 1998 and 1999, with a medium to light ruby color, and a sumptuous bouquet of kirsch liqueur, spice box, and licorice. Full-bodied and fleshy, with low acidity, it is a sweet (from high glycerin and alcohol), seductive, intoxicating offering with no hard edges and a rich, fleshy mouthfeel. While it will be hard to resist, I feel the 1998 still has more structure. Anticipated maturity for the 2000: 2005-2016. A disclaimer is in order concerning the following tasting notes. While the bottled 2000s were easy to taste, the 2001 barrel tastings at Rayas were challenging because there was no electricity in the cellars. Rayas was one of many estates where electricity had been cut off by the floods of September 8 and 9. Hence, the tasting was conducted by flashlight ... a first in my 25 years of experience. It was hard to get a grasp of the barrel samples' colors when viewed by flashlight, but they appeared to be light to medium ruby. However, darkly pigmented wines are rarely produced at this domaine. There have been some deep-colored vintages of Rayas (1995, 1990, and 1989), but most are surprisingly weak in color, yet intense in flavor.
Wine SpectatorRemarkable. Very light in color, like weathered bricks, but this medium-bodied red has all the sweetness you can wish for from a young wine, with ripe tannins and some plum and cherry confit providing succulent flavors; you won't leave a drop in the glass. Smooth, silky, ripe, balanced, long finish. Drink now through 2015. 1,600 cases made. -PM