Robert Parker 92
The dark ruby-colored 1999 Rayas Chateauneuf du Pape admirably conceals its 15% alcohol. With serious structure and tannin, this medium to full-bodied, closed 1999 offers beautiful, sweet kirsch liqueur notes in the aromatics and on the attack, but it tightens in the finish. Importers: Alain Junguenet, Wines of France, Mountainside, NJ; tel. (908) 654-6173 and Martine’s Wines, Novato, CA; tel. (415) 883-0400
Anticipated maturity: 2001-2012
Medium red-ruby. Smoky redcurrant nose, with hints of game, leather and pepper; surmuri notes of dried fruits. Fat but quite fine; less sweet and fruit-driven today than the Pignan but more complex, more serious. This has solid structure for aging. "The Pignan always tastes better young than Rayas," Reynaud points out.