Beaucastel v Rayas - the Châteauneuf shootout
. Young Hong Kong wine fanatic Paulo Pong organised a 24-bottle battle (sounds like Dr Seuss) over dinner in London recently. The point was to see how the two great Châteaux of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Rayas and Beaucastel, performed when tasted blind alongside each other, with suitable food. I was astounded by many of the results, notably that Rayas 1998 tasted like a delicious but fully mature wine, and that on balance I seemed to prefer the Beaucastels when similar tastings previously had seemed to indicate otherwise. In fact I took many a Beaucastel to be a Rayas and vice versa (those animal notes kept popping up all over...
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