Ch. Rayas, Archie and Great New Grenache Finds

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    The Greatness of Benchmark Grenache
    The Burgundian Types!
    (Low or no oak, crushed raspberry and rose-petals, silky tannins.)

    Over recent months I’ve been lucky enough to help lead, or take part in several grenache masterclasses, and I’ve also tasted quite a few ethereal reds from the Rayas and the small associated family domains (Fonsalette, Tours etc). I always known that “Rayas family” wines are special, but the vintages available now (roughly from 2010 to 2017 with the currently available Rayas being 2013!) are mind-blowingly great and plumb the depths of flavour and complexity, or I should say, they scale the heights of greatness and awe?
     
    It would be easy to say that the greatness and "difference" is solely because of the sandy soil and micro-climate of the Pignan sector where Rayas is situated; but the similar heady, slightly Burgundian, crushed ripe raspberry, sweet damp earth, wild underbrush and potpourri characters, come from other “Rayas” wines from different places, and also a few other producers too.
     
    A word on Rayas pricing. It has exploded, but the prices won’t ever come down. The wine world has re-discovered the greatness and the prices are following,, however the quality has never been better. The prices of the normally humble Cotes du Rhone or Vacqueras wines will surprise some people who haven’t seen a price for a couple of years, but these wines transcend the appellation tag and they are truly great (and better than many Grand Crus of Burgundy)!
     
    We have selected a small selection of grenache and grenache based wines from $29 to $3300 that show the grandeur of the grape. These are mostly unoaked or at the very least were aged in older oak barrels and vats.
    Cheers, Randall 

    2019 Heartwines Archie Grenache 
    RRP: $34 | Offer: $29!

    This wine is in stock and available for immediate dispatch!

    This wine is “close to our hearts”. I buy the organic grapes from the Yangarra High Sands block (planted in the 40’s) of bush vines of high pedigree! Peter Fraser and Shelly Torresan make the wine at Yangarra in a very hand-crafted way using whole berries and open fermentation with hand-plunging, followed by ageing in older oak barrels. It’s a perfumed, slightly reserved young wine at present, but it’s silky and beautifully textured red with enough rope tannins to age for a decade or more. This is pure! - Randall

    "Grenache's telltale aroma of kirsch kicks off the melee. Turkish delight, sour-cherry pith, orange zest, too. Some bunchy spice and a scrub of firm sandy tannins – almost volcanic and chamois of feel – splay across a long finish, evincing authority while conferring a welcome savouriness. A delicious wine, although it could do with half a degree more ripeness and warmth." 92 points! - Ned Goodwin MW, Halliday Wine Companion

    2020 Font de Courtedune Chateauneuf-du-Pape
    RRP: $95 | Offer: $79!

    Guess what? This is a small 4 ha site situated right next to Rayas on sandy soil! No wonder I thought it was a wine from the Rayas family when I had it blind! A rich and generously flavoured red with pretty red fruit bouquet, pepper, spice and sweet underbrush and damp earth. It’s silky and long, and not a barrel or oak in sight! - Randall

    "I loved the 2020 Châteauneuf Du Pape, a pretty, nicely balanced, elegant 2020 offering lots of red and black fruits as well as some floral, rose, and garrigue-like nuances. With fine tannins, a supple, layered mouthfeel, and outstanding length, it’s well worth seeking out. The blend is almost all Grenache, brought up all in concrete tanks." - Jeb Dunnuck

    "White pepper from the stems accentuates the fresh aromatics. Full-bodied, but again great freshness on the palate, with is underlined by the piercing acidity. Texturally deep, the tannins are just a little fibrous, but this has plenty of interest and personality. Sandy soils and aged in concrete." 93 Points - Matt Walls, Decanter

    2020 Famille Brunier Piedlong Chateauneuf-du-Pape
    RRP: $165 | Offer: $139!

    2015 Famille Brunier Piedlong Chateauneuf-du-Pape
    RRP: $135 | Offer: $115!

    I first tasted this wine in a mixed pack of blind “grenache wines” that I had Nick put together for me. I pulled the cork from the brown paper bagged bottle and poured a glass. I was blown away! Some other makers’ bottles from the pack showed overripe, soupy, jammy and hot alcoholic characters, but this one was DIFFERENT. I thought it was from the Rayas family, not Ch. Rayas itself, but perhaps a Fonsalette. As it turned out, 10% of this wine (the mourvedre component) comes from the Pignan sector of Chateauneuf du Pape, and the balance, grenache, comes from just south on the Piedlong plateau. This estate is owned by the Brunier family of Vieux Telegraph, vignerons of high reputation. It shows the same Burgundian-like crushed red fruits and rose petal / damp earth complexities that I love in Rayas! I tasted the 2015 which has years left to age, but is drinking well; but the 2020 is also a beauty. - Randall

    Ch. des Tours, Fonsalette & Pignan

    These wines are in stock and available for immediate dispatch!

    2019 Domaine des Tours Vin de Pays de Vaucluse Blanc
    Offer: $88

    2019 Domaine des Tours Vin de Pays de Vaucluse Rouge
    Offer: $96

    2019 Ch. des Tours 'Les Tours' Vin de Pays de Vaucluse Blanc
    Offer: $96

    2019 Ch. des Tours Cotes du Rhone Reserve
    Offer: $185

    2017 Ch. des Tours Cotes du Rhone Reserve
    Offer: $295

    2014 Ch. des Tours Cotes du Rhone Grande Reserve
    Offer: $359
    "The 2014 Côtes du Rhône Grande Réserve is magnificent... this medium-bodied and de-classified Vacqueyras outperforms most of the same-vintage Vacqueyras wines." 91 points – Nicholas Greinacher, Vinous

    2013 Ch. des Tours Vacqueyras Reserve
    Offer: $580
    “Utterly bewitching on the nose. There is magic in here... In a class of its own." 18.5/20 points! – Richard Hemming, Jancis Robinson

    2012 Ch. des Tours Vacqueyras Reserve
    Offer: $485
    “The 2012 Vacqueyras Réserve sports a flamboyant perfume of cherry liquor and strawberry compote mixed with delicate notions of tobacco and dried lavender. Enveloped in silky tannins, this full-bodied beauty is packed with ample concentration and finesse... Utterly seductive” 93 points! – Nicolas Greinacher, Vinous

    2012 Ch. de Fonsalette Cotes du Rhone Reserve
    Offer: $690

    2012 Ch. de Fonsalette Cotes du Rhone Reserve Syrah
    Offer: $690
    “(Amazing to think how long Fonsalette Rouge lives…) ... Very racy and fine as well as being much more polished than most southern Rhône Syrahs." 17.5/20 points! – Jancis Robinson

    2011 Ch. de Fonsalette Cotes du Rhone Reserve
    Offer: $690

    2010 Ch. de Fonsalette Cotes du Rhone Reserve
    Offer: $950
    “Spicy raspberry and cherry aromas are complicated by incense, lavender and pungent herbs. Pliant red fruit flavours are deepened by candied liquorice and bitter chocolate, with bright acidity adding lift." 92 points! – Josh Raynolds, Vinous

    2006 Ch. de Fonsalette Cotes du Rhone Reserve Syrah
    Offer: $790
    “Round and sweet and already very appealing drinking from Ch Rayas' sister property." 17/20 points! – Jancis Robinson

    2011 Pignan Chateauneuf-du-Pape
    Offer: $990
    “Intense raspberry, potpourri and spicecake scents gain depth with air and pick up a bright mineral nuance. Fleshy, seamless and concentrated, showing impressive clarity to its juicy red fruit flavors." 93 points! – Josh Raynolds, Vinous. 

    Chateau Rayas Pre-Arrival!
    Châteauneuf du Pape
    Jacques Reynaud, who died in 1997, was one of the true characters in Châteauneuf. A notoriously shy and private man, he was known to avoid appointments by hiding in ditches that lined the rutted driveway leading to his château. However, he was recognised as one of the world’s greatest winemakers and the legacy of Château Rayas is now continued by his son François. So many practices here seem to run contrary to other producers in Châteauneuf – the 13 hectares of vines are north facing and contain none of the fabled “galets roulés”. Only Grenache is used and yields at around 15hl/h are ridiculously low. Almost uniquely the wines are matured in the now rarely seen 450 litre “double-piéce” oak casks. These are substantial and exotically rich wines that are quite literally unique.

    Order by reply email to wine@randalls.net.au or call (03) 9419 9795 to order!

    2012 Chateau Rayas Chateauneuf du Pape
    Pre-Arrival: $3300 

    2011 Chateau Rayas Chateauneuf du Pape 
     Pre-Arrival: $3300

    2010 Chateau Rayas Chateauneuf du Pape
    Pre-Arrival: $3300

    McLaren Vale Legends
    Yangarra & S.C. Pannell

    These wines are in stock for immediate dispatch!

    2019 S.C. Pannell Old McDonald Grenache
    Offer: $58
    "Dark cherry, raspberry, liquorice root, clay, and sweet spice. Firm, dried rose perfumed and packed with ripe red fruits and cherry, plenty of stony tannin here, with a sort of pumice stone feel, serious yet charming. a cranberry freshness to acidity, and a long fragrant finish. Quite a wine!"  96 points! - Gary Walsh, The Wine Front

    2020 Yangarra High Sands Grenache
    Offer: $299
    97 points! - Halliday Wine Companion 

    2019 Yangarra High Sands Grenache
    Offer: $249
    97 points! - Halliday Wine Companion 

    2018 Yangarra High Sands Grenache
    Offer: $215
    96 points! - Halliday Wine Companion 

    2017 Yangarra High Sands Grenache
    Offer: $165
    99 points! - Halliday Wine Companion 

    Cheers - Randall, Amy, Issy & Nick


    18 products

    18 products