Sunday, January 19, 2014

Updated Review: ***+ Chez Ray Hopland Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006, Mendicino County, California

Original Review, July, 2008: The Chez Ray Hopland Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006, Mendicino County, CA, is one of the first 2006 vintage wines I will sample for review. Definitely still a work in progress. The entire vintage was fermented cool, using Assmanshausen yeast - two oddities in the world of cabernet and merlot. The grapes came from Brehm Vineyards.

Let's see what we've got here. Color is solid deep/medium burgundy throughout. Aroma is powerful and intriguing - perfumed violets plus husky oak dust, deep brawny fruit. Suggests strength.

On the palate, there is a gentle, easy persistence to the deep, round, sweet fruit - a hint of fresh-baked bread (not yeast). Light tannins, though the alcohol brings a long perfumed finish.

Using the Spirit of Wine scale, I would definitely come back to this again, earning three stars, with a plus for its pleasant peculiarity.

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Updated Review March, 2009: A half a year later.... a bit of brick in the color now. Aroma picks up a bright yeastiness. Fruit is still round and sweet, modestly deep. Still lightly perfumed lingering finish.
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Updated review another four and a half years later, now seven years from vintage date, October, 2013:  Consistent color.  Nose has a hint of age.  Round, slightly tired palate.  Has hit maximum age.
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Updated review just four months later, now eight years from vintage date, January, 2014:  Deep medium red and brick.  Muted fruit on the nose, but not showing age.  On the palate, this bottle still has a vivacity, showing red fruit, fresh plums and energetic violet aromatics.  Nicely drinkable; and not tired at all.

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