Monday, September 01, 2008

**** 2003 Chez Ray Cabernet / Merlot, Lodi and North Coast, CA, Yakima Valley, WA

Review: This 2003 combo cabernet sauvignon and merlot is getting to be an oldie moldie. It's a blend of cabernet from Lodi and North Coast CA; and merlot from Yakima Valley WA and Lodi CA.

In the glass, this is medium-deep burgundy. Oh, this pumps old cabernet aromas out of the glass and into the room! It's a bit of old wood and decaying leather - huge old-world feel. On the palate, there is a new-world, upfront fruit character at first. But that fat middle is followed-on by the husky, musty aromas coming along on the back end. Quite a big, fascinating blend. I believe I'll go four stars out of five on the Spirit of Wine scale, because it's intriguing enough for me to want to stay with it exclusively today.

Karen shakes her head at it - "too barnyardy", she says. She's absolutely right about the "barnyardy" - though not about the "too."

Veeerrry interesting... I was fascinated by the unusual barnyard aspect of this. So I opened a second bottle - same vintage, same grapes, same process. Same color, though a touch of purple. No aromas pumping from the glass. Warm, even fruit and oak aromas. Palate shows a smooth middle, that settles to a gentle, even, only lightly tannic finish - with a glow of smooth vanilla. Three stars with a plus for friendliness. Pretty clear the one bottle had a brettanomyces (brett) infection. But what a positive for this wine!

1 comment:

  1. So, Brett is good? Sounds like a nice blend.