Friday, October 18, 2013

Updated Review: ***+ Chez Ray Lodi Syrah, 2003, Valley Oaks Vineyards, Lodi, CA

Original Review, December, 2008: This 2003 Chez Ray Syrah is made from fresh grapes from Valley Oaks Vineyards in Lodi, CA, fermented warm with Pasteur Red yeast, pressed at dryness.

Color in the glass is medium, rusty red, turning slightly toward brick at the edge. Aromas are modest, gutsy warm fruit, hint of oak, hint of vegetation.

On the palate, an even, clean, durable fruit middle is the first note, very nicely balanced with touch of oak, touch of tannin. Not a bunch of layers, not a bunch of depth, but the solid fruit throws off a clean, mineral tone that makes for a very complete sip. Finish is clean, fairly brief and fruit-dominated. Three stars on the Spirit of Wine scale, with a plus for balance.

Five years old and ready to drink now.

Updated review, over three and a half years later,  now nine years from vintage date, September, 2012:  Wow, color and aroma are entirely consistent.   Fresh, medium red fruit touches the palate, with a friendly, almost effervescent overtone.  Friendly, with nice aromatics and clean finish.  Holds up very well to the additional age.  This will be one that survives the decade!

Updated review, another year later, now 10 years from vintage date! October, 2013:  Soothingly soft aroma, light hints of a fireplace in the distance.  Soft, clean, fragrant.  Still young.  What more can I say?  Marvelous, perhaps.

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