Original review, five years from vintage date, sampled October, 2008: This is a strange combo: pinot noir plus cabernet sauvignon. Somehow, at the time, it seemed like a good mix. The aromatics from the Columbia, WA, pinot noir added bounce to the deeper Lodi, CA, cabernet sauvignon. Let's see what some bottle time has done...
In the glass, it is deep red, definite bricking around the edges. Aroma is earth and deep fruit, just a touch funky. Might need some air time. The palate has a first, sweet flush, then resolves into an odd bright fruit plus some lightly sweet acids. Ok, definitely odd, two stars out of five on the Spirit of Wine scale, because it was an interesting - not horrible - experience.
Updated review, almost seven years later, now 12 years from vintage date, June, 2015: Still deep red brick, almost dark orange at the very edge. Soft, settled fruit on the nose. The former oddness now resolves into a pleasant distinctiveness, bringing sweet, soft red and black berries that are definitely not showing their 12 years of age. An absence of obvious tannins or cheek-clenching acids belies how well this strange blend has aged. There is something else here that is helping the Chez Ray Pinot/Cab combo stand the test of time. Very quaffable and now touches three stars.