The deep ruby 2004 Rayas Chateauneuf du Pape is a structured wine that seems to have closed down from the component part tasting last year. It is medium-bodied with sweet, ripe black cherry and raspberry notes, some crushed rocks, and that distinctive minerality that Rayas seems to provide. The wine reveals more structure this year, and therefore seems to need 2-4 years of bottle age and should keep for 15-16. Stylistically, it is more than just a coincidence that it resembles the 1994, which has turned out very well and is beginning to drink beautifully in the classic Rayas style.
The 2005s at this renowned estate, both the Cotes du Rhones from the Fonselette estate and the Chateauneuf du Papes, are cool-climate style wines with some austerity but admirable delicacy and lightness. I didn’t think they were among the vintage’s strongest efforts, but they are certainly very much in keeping with the style of past Jacques Reynaud wines.