Friday, May 11, 2007

Rating: ***- 2005 Chez Ray (Wine Kit) Woodbridge Ranch 11 Cabernet Sauvignon - Central Valley, CA

Review: This is wine made from a bag of grape juice! It is called the Selection Estate Woodbridge Ranch 11 Cabernet Sauvignon. I made it more or less following Winexpert instructions.

I did not use the bentonite for clearing and I made it to about 5.5 gallons rather than 6 gallons. The major change I made was to add a bunch of skins from my own Lodi and Napa fermentation to potentially give this a bit more aromatic and tannin "punch". We'll see what came of all this...

Color is an even deep red. While swirling, grape juice aromas jump out of the glass. On closer examination, aroma is a mild liquor-like cherry, maybe like smelling the inside of a chocolate-covered cherry, but without the chocolate. The favor fills the mouth with a round, smooth touch, no complexity, no aromas, but big and round in the middle. Just a touch of cherry around the edges. And a finish that flits past you before you even notice.

In total, this is like some kind of mixture of wine, grape juice and new port. Not quite wine; but not quite a liquor either. Not something to write home about; but not a total abomination. For ratings, I'm stuck between two-plus and three-minus. I guess I'd open another bottle, so that's three-minus. (But, to give full disclosure, part of the reason I'd so readily open to another bottle is probably that I've got a couple dozen of them from the five-gallon batch!)

For comparison, here's what the manufacturer says about this bag 'o juice:"Our Cab has trademark black currant and cherry flavors, but its true triumph is the subtle weave of complex flavor compounds that contribute to the overall experience. Oak and tannins, pepper and spice, combining structure and rich fruit for a red wine that dazzle from first aroma to long elegant finish."

Well, that sounds a bit "je ne sais quoi" to me!

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