Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Updated Review and Rating: **** Chez Ray Sangiovese, 2004, Lodi, CA

Original Review, May, 2008: The Chez Ray Sangiovese, 2004 (G4), was made from Lodi grapes, fermented warm, with a combination of French and American oak. In the glass, it shows as a dark blood red in color.

The nose hits as a deep, funky vegetable-fruit combo.

The sip outshines the nose, however. There is a strong oaky start on the the palate, but this quickly resolves to a furry, intense cherry fruit. The "fur" is a tough tannic backbone still in place, signifying that this can sit for a few more years in bottle. Medium-length finish. Three stars out of five with a plus for intensity and promise for a longer-lived future.

Updated Review, about a year and a half later, January, 2009: Color and nose have lightened just a bit. The palate comes to the middle with a clean, round red cherry. I don't notice the tannic backbone any longer, suggesting the Sangiovese may be coming of age. Also the intensity has faded. Now, an even, bright, mid-weight red. In effect, a pinot-noir alternative. I'd drop it back a touch to three stars without the plus at this point.

Updated Review, about a year later, May, 2010:  Now a hint of brick showing at the rim.  Aroma and flavors consistent with earlier review.  A balanced, dry red of medium weight, with a touch of minerality and dust.  Still nice. Photo from this tasting.

Updated review, another year later, June, 2011:  Still a hint of brick at the rim of the glass.  The nose shows muddled red fruit with a light oxidized overtone.  The palate remains bright, red and clean, with hints of sand.  Solid, and probably at its peak now.

Another updated review, another two and a half years later, now a full decade from vintage year, January, 2014:  Same color.  Muddled middle red fruit.  Nice, aromatic red fruit on the palate, with drips of violet.  Yummy. Now four stars.  Remarkable ager.

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