1998 Chateau Rayas Chateauneuf du Pape Reserve

This was an interesting wine to taste blind. The initial thought was a fairly old Burgundy, then possibly Rioja. We made our way next to the Southern Rhone and when its identity was finally revealed and we were very surprised as the nose seemed prematurely developed for a 1998. In fact, it reminded of the ’78 Cuvee de Vatican. That said, there was incredible richness on the palate from the start, light spice, a touch of celery, coffee, well-integrated light tannin and medium+ acidity. It’s got red fruit underneath but a fair amount of surprising tertiary aromas. The nose evolves with air, rounds out and the wine puts on weight, getting more fleshy and filled out by gaining a bit of pleasant liqueur flavor. There is a core of very sweet red fruit. Very interesting indeed….