Sunday, November 17, 2013

****+ Chez Ray Suscol Ranch Merlot, 2006, Napa Valley, CA

Original review, February, 2009: The 2006 Suscol Ranch Merlot, from Napa Valley Brehm Vineyards frozen grapes . The vintage was fermented cool, with Assmanshausen yeast and is first being sampled at three years from vintage date.

Like the rest of the cool-fermented 2006 vintage, the wine is light red in the glass. Doesn't LOOK like merlot! Aroma is husky, balanced, touches of pepper, maybe chocolate. On the palate, extraordinary balance, even in its youth. Sweet, layered middle is the first note. That brings even touches of chocolate along with a luscious, underlying fruit. The finish is a very, very slow fade. Then, when you think it should be gone, here it comes, back again, milk chocolate as a finish.

Outstanding example of this vintage, and indeed from the entire Chez Ray line. Four stars out of five, with a plus for its continued promise. Imagine more promise on a four star rating!!

Updated review, four and a half years later, now seven years from vintage date, November, 2013:  Deep brick red in the glass - seems deeper than the earlier sample!  Muddled deep fruit on the nose, seems to be showing age.  The palate still shows excellent soft balance, mingling hints of dry milk chocolate with soft black fruit.

1 comment:

  1. Chez Ray Suscol Ranch Napa Merlot 2006: Rich fruit forward nose w hints of plum; smooth start w some heat & subtle licorice tones; balanced palate w lush fruit & subtle chocolate notes. VERY NICE, and makes me wish I had waited a few more years before opening my ONLY bottle!
    -- @HDL Guy