Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Updated Review: ***+ Chez Ray Yakima Valley Merlot, 2006, from 2005 grapes, Prosser WA

Original Review, August, 2008: The 2006 Chez Ray Yakima Valley Merlot is made from 2005 vintage frozen grapes from Brehm Vineyards, but vinted in 2006, using an unusual cool-fermentation technique.

In the glass, this merlot is rudy red, quite translucent, suggesting a wimpy red wine. The aroma, however, is bright and bold, of fiery red cherries. On the palate, there is a clean, bright, aromatic front note, layered in light but silty tannins. Quite charming. It glides to the mid-palate with a touch of oak, and even, layered finish.

This is not a blockbuster, but a charmer of a red. Far more happening than the color would have ever hinted. Three stars with a plus for insane accessibility.
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Updated review, about four and a half years later, March, 2013:

Light red, with brick overtones now.  Aromas show both red brightness and oaky depths.  An intriguing shoe-polish element.  On the palate, this is still light and aromatic up front, yielding to a clean red finish.  Remarkable that its accessibility has held up to almost five more years of age!

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