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!
I am a wine lover. Wine is one thing that simultaneously makes me want to grow old and young. Old as I look forward to those great maturing masterpieces to reach their distant apogees. Young as I wish to have started wine appreciation earlier in life. My parents had no notion of wine, and had nothing laid down for me - the failing I wish to rectify with my children.
A meal without wine is a lost opportunity. If this blog doesn't make you hungry and thirsty, then I've failed. I am "Iron Chevsky", WSET-certified wine geek and a 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.