Original Review, December, 2008: The Chez Ray Sangiacomo Vineyards Merlot of 2006 is from Brehm Vineyards frozen grapes from Carneros, Sonoma, CA. The vintage was fermented cool, with Assmanshausen yeast.
In the glass, this merlot is light/medium ruby red - looking more like a pinot noir than a merlot.
Aromas are fresh, clean and airy, like laundry flapping in the sunny breezes. Touch of ink - or is it Play Doh? Very pleasant.
On the palate, you first note a light, crystalline, high-pitched clean sweet berry. Just the faintest hint of tannins and acids follow. Finish is surprisingly long, given such a delicate start. Actually finishes with just a little touch of light milk chocolate. Three stars out of five on the Spirit of Wine scale.
Updated review, over three years later, January, 2012: Consistent light color. Intriguing light, red, fresh berry aromas. Now a balanced sweet delivery to the mid-palate of ripe, sparkly red fruit, bringing a wonderful sweetness, clingy-ness and still lightness. Finish is both silty and silky. Delicious in a medium body red. Four stars now.
Updated review, another two and a half years later, May, 2014:
Consistent light color. Fresh, taut red nose. On the palate, shows full, fresh, deep, fruity, lusty and gritty fruit, acids that come in bright at fresh only at the finish and clear tannins supporting the entire sip. Fruit drips down from your cheeks on the finish. Easy four stars at eight years of age.