Wine Cellar has been importing fine European wines for almost 2 decades and combatting steep Rand devaluations seems to have become the norm. At the current rate, finding value will be more challenging, especially as SA wine quality continues to make strides. There’s still value to be found, however, most notably in wines that offer absolute uniqueness in terroir, winemaking and culture.
Château Rayas is one such producer. They are so unique in their own region, the Rhône Valley, that a comparison to SA is difficult. Rayas is the most expensive and sought-after wine in southern France and is owned, along with Château and Domaine des Tours, by Emmanuel Reynaud. The reds of both wineries are very similar in their unique style and we have just landed our highly-prized allocation.
What is the 2015 Vin de Pays de Vaucluse Rouge like? The Reynaud family produces late-release, ripe southern Rhône Grenaches made in a heady, oxidative style that isn’t short of freshness. The barrels used for ageing are as old as the winery, capturing their traditional stamp of savoury perfume and rich fruit. The Vaucluse Rouge has distinct dried cherry and rhubarb notes, developing into a musky, blood orange character. With air, it seems to acquire more sweetness and power. It’s a radical wine (and journey) for R350. We have just 15 cases available.
Domaine des Tours, Vin de Pays de Vaucluse Rouge 2015
The Domaine des Tours estate lies 5km southwest of Vacqueyras but is made under the Vin de Pays de Vaucluse appellation. It is raised in ancient oak and is a blend of Grenache, Counoise, Syrah and Cinsault. 2015 was a rich, profound vintage in the southern Rhône; on the same level as 2010 and perhaps even 2016.