Sunday, November 27, 2011

***+ Chez Ray Napa Merlot, California, 2004 (NM4) - Homemade Wine Tasting & Review

 By way of background, opening thoughts: As best I can recall (can't find notes), Chez Ray Napa Merlot for 2004 was fermented warm with BDX (Bordeaux) yeast, and pressed with still a couple degrees of Brix (sugar) left.  That created a harsh initial taste, with much purple fruit.  Let's see what has happened in the intervening seven years. Grapes were acquired frozen from Brehm Vineyards.

Original tasting and review : November, 2011.

In the glass: Dark brilliant magenta, opaque from a half inch in from the edge of the glass.  The bottle shows considerable residue along its side from its time in cellar.  The wine - as you might have expected - is unfiltered. 

On the nose: Poured cool and swirled vigorously, shows bold, bright lifted purple ink.  Seems like this will be bright and mouth-filling.  Perhaps still harsh?

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact much more layered and fruity than expected.  The fruit is not primary, but friendly and welcoming, showing dark ripe plum with an oak mantle, followed by a powerful balanced hit of tannins and acids that almost curl your cheeks.  But the cheek-curling is done with rich purple fruit, which lingers for a good long time. 

In summary: Overall, the potent aromatics and palate rate three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with a plus for its lingering intensity.  I would say in five years this wine may still be stretching towards four stars or more.

Following long decant, three days kept cool in partially filled bottle:  Brilliant, lifted purple ink on the nose.  Unique and almost exhilarating.   Consistent palate.

1 comment:

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