I was first introduced to this wine twenty-five years ago in a small town named Gordes, not far away from the vineyard and the winery of Ch. Rayas. At first I thought there was an actual Château and wanted to visit, but I realized later on that there was no Château, and was more or less a dirty winery. Yes dirty and Rayas was notorious for having the best wines and the dirtiest winery.
The person who introduced me to the wine was an artisan en comestibles who owned a shop across from the Victor Vasarely museum. I recall a very effected middle-aged man, yet he seemed odd and very serious working from shop the size of the closet. I was new it was my first visit to the region, so I asked what are the best wines. He handed me a list and I selected a wine which I never heard of. It was a pleasant experience, so I returned the next day.
This time he looked at me and said just a moment please I’ll be right back and left me alone. After five minutes he returned cradling a bottle of wine in the wicker basket. He was carrying it like a baby as he showed it to me taking each step gently forward tip-toeing. He insisted to decant the wine which was fine with me, and when I tasted it, my socks blew off-that was my first Rayas and the rest is history.
This is a meaty wine with some definite aged dark cerise, and at the same time elegant and much less powered by tannins, smothered in silky long classic red rhone fruit from Rayas. This bottle was selected from two of the last cellar bottles and had excellent fill and enjoyed with fries. /sorry glidly – next year the ’78/