Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Updated Review: *** Chez Ray Bordeaux Blend, 2004, Lodi, CA

Original Review, November, 2008: The 2004 Chez Ray Bordeaux Blend (B4) is a mix of 2004 cabernet sauvignon and merlot grapes from Lodi, CA. In the glass, it is medium/deep red, showing purple and brick at the edges.

Aroma is strong, fruity and oaky. Robust and simple - think pizza wine aromas. On the palate, there is a bit of an old-world style; it hits to the back of the mouth, with a bit of smoke and tannin. Not much fruit up front, in contrast with the aroma. The bit of gritty tannin is unexpected, but nice. It allows for a rolling, lengthy finish, where the fruit finally arrives with a bit of shy wave: "Here I am, after all..." it says.

Three stars out of five on the Spirit of Wine scale.

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Blend: I added 40% 2004 Chez Ray Woodbridge Cabernet Sauvignon to create a rounder middle. Stong blend! The Woodbridge added a middle; the Bordeaux Blend gave the front and back. Nose picks up some licorice and cherry.  Fruiter middle, but still a good pounce at the tail.
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Updated Review, a year and a half later, July, 2010, now six years from vintage date (that is the date of photo):  Mid red now in the glass, brick at edges.  Still pizza-wine aromas in the Lodi grape Bordeaux-style blend.  It is lighter now.  The palate shows a balanced, dry, mid-red style - fairly shy on fruit, with some mineral and acids lacing an older-world dryness.  Solid for food, though I do not believe this has grown more attractive with time.  Believe it would complement a round wine in a blend - similar to what I described above with the Chez Ray Woodbridge Cabernet Sauvignon.

Actually, right now I'm mixing up a few blends of 2/3 Chez Ray Bordeaux Blend 2004 (B4) with 1/3 Chez Ray Woodbridge Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 (WC) and calling it Chez Ray Bordeaux Blend 2004 (BB4).
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Updated review, over two years later, now eight years from vintage date, September, 2012:  Rustic medium red.  Fresh, light, fruity plum aromas, with a hint of funk (I expect that will blow off with air).  Pale and aromatic fruit now complements the light oak.  A pleasing light blend and an easy three stars.  Holding up very well to the time in bottle.   

Made a 50/50 blend of Rosso Grande 2002 and Chez Ray Bordeaux Blend 2004 (B4):  Soft nose with a hint of helium funk.  Balanced attack of bright fruit, deep cherries on the middle and a soft oak finish.  Works pretty well as a friendly alternative to either of these separately.  

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