Several generations have run the Chateau Rayas, but Jacques Reynaud took the wines into the stratosphere, where Emmanuel has only served to keep them since his ascendance in 1997. Almost as reticent in accepting his fame as Jacques - who used to hide when cars would approach the Chateau - Emmanuel guards closely his recipe to the legendary wines escaping the estate every year.
We know that the vines are ancient and produce small, intense yields. There is no temperature-control in the cellars, and the wines ferment in concrete before being transferred to ancient barrels of several different sizes. That's it - no magic tricks, just patience; the wines will ferment for about a year, and then will be aged in bottle at the estates until they are deemed ready to drink; routinely vintages are released nearly a decade after their fermentations conclude.
From Chateau des Tours in Vaucluse, 40 hectares of Grenache, Syrah, Merlot, Cinsault, Grenache Blanc and Clairette are planted to black sand vineyards. The one difference in vinification from the other Rayas estates is the Merlot, which will be partially aged in new oak.