The spirit of Jacques Reynaud, the godfather of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, is always present at the storied estate of Château Rayas. When this legendary founder died suddenly in 1997, his wife asked their nephew, Emmanuel Reynaud, to take the reins at both Château Rayas and Château de Fonsalette. Already making wines at his father’s Château des Tours, Emmanuel agreed.
Somewhat reclusive and to be found working his vineyards at most any time of day, every day, Emmanuel does not revel in the fame and notoriety that come with making such sought-after and acclaimed wines. Instead, he continues to quietly but successfully carry the mantle of his famous forebears, producing hauntingly aromatic wines at his three estates: Château Rayas, Château des Tours, and Château de Fonsalette.
Just outside Châteauneuf-du-Pape, near the village of Lagarde-Paréol in the Côtes-du-Rhône appellation, Château de Fonsalette was purchased by Emmanuel’s grandfather, Louis Reynaud, in 1945. It holds 120 hectares, 12 of which are planted with Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah for reds, and Grenache Blanc, Clairette and Marsanne for whites. The estate also produces wonderful olive oil.
Quite simply, the three wines of Fonsalette — a blanc, a rouge, and a 100% Syrah, which is rare for the region — defy their appellation: They are among the best and most in-demand wines from Côtes-du-Rhône.
There is a clear through-line in all the wines produced by Emmanuel — a unique weighty, aromatic, complex, and savory signature of all the wines that places them among the most well-regarded, sought-after bottles of the appellation.
Martine’s Wines is the exclusive U.S. importer for Château de Fonsalette.