Yesterday I had the pleasure of drinking 2001 Chateau Rayas, paired with bbq ribs expertly made by my friend Chris B. Chateau Rayas is considered by most winos I know the best winery of the Southern Rhone. Located in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, it is as close, in my opinion, as Rhone comes to Burgundy. Color - translucent blood. Velvety texture and light body - so Burgundian. Flavor - Southern - spice box, berries, and a hint of veggie. Mezmerizing. Unusual for Southern Rhone where GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre) blends rule the reds, Rayas is 100% Grenache. The best expression of Grenache in the world. I don't even like Grenache - it tends to be alcoholic, soft and low-acid. That's why it's usually "strengthened" by Syrah and Mourvedre. But not this wine. At 10 years of age, Rayas was an amazing elixir for those who look for both elegance and adventure in their bottle. Somehow images of classy vampires (from the movie Underworld) come to mind. Just look at the color - it's majestic! I paused, I looked, I smelled for minutes, I sipped. Repeat. The bad news? Recent releases of Rayas retail for over $200 a bottle... if you can find them. For those able to appreciate it, I think it's worth the price. Hell of a treat!
If this blog doesn't enhance your wine life, if it doesn't make you hungry and thirsty, then I've failed. I write not about wine, but about life made better by wine. A meal without wine is lost opportunity. I am "Iron Chevsky", WSET-certified wine aficionado and software industry executive. Back in the early days of the internet, I was the founding member of the team Ask Jeeves. These days I still make my money in tech, and spend my money in wine. Thank goodness, Silicon Valley is good for both.