Emmanuel Reynaud – who took over Chateau Rayas after his uncle Jacques Reynaud – died is the owner of this outstanding estate. It is one of the fruitiest and best Cotes du Rhone money can buy. To say that it approaches the quality of a Chateauneuf-du-Pape will not be an overstatement. (I had visited Rayas and met Jacques Reynaud a few months before he died of a heart attack in 1997). The vineyard is organic and manually plowed. Very expressive on the nose and palate. The reason for that is not just because Chateau des Tours is harvested much later than other producers but also for its old Grenache vines. I remember a dinner here in Hong Kong where Gerard Basset described the variety as the “Pinot Noir of the South”. We shall miss him dearly. Gerard would have loved this Cotes du Rhone. Brimming with ripe, rich red fruit. The exuberance is held firmly by succulent tannins and insatiable freshness.