Monday, December 23, 2013

Review: **** $$ Cayalla Red Table Wine (RTW), Columbia Valley, Washington, 2005 = BEST VALUE, Barclay's Wine

By way of background, opening thoughts: Columbia Valley is a wonderful region in the United States for classically-vinted cabernet sauvignon and merlot wines.  Today, thanks to importer Barclay's Wine , we are sampling a seven-year-aged red blend from Columbia Valley which combines these two grapes with a big dose of syrah.

Original tasting and review , May, 2012: This is Cayalla Red Table Wine (RTW), Columbia Valley, Washington, 2005, finished at a modest 13.% alcohol.

In the glass: Deep magenta, opaque in the center. 

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, shows deep stone fruit of plum plus blackberry and some structuring oak.  From the aroma, seems like this will be classic and dark.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact deeply soft and roundly structured plums, nicely laced with oak finishing that complements but does not overwhelm the fruit.  Cocoa powder mixes with the deep blackberry.  Soft, balanced, aromatic and structured.  The wine is nicely poised for drinking today.  Full and lengthy clean finish.

In summary: Overall, rates three full stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with a plus for its bold balance.  Good value.

Following long decant, full day kept cool in partially filled bottle: Deep red berries on the nose, not so much plums now.  Sweet, soft, structured fruit on the palate, with a nice beach sandiness that complements the texture, tipping the scale at four stars and making this a best value with the extra air time. 

Updated review, a year and a half later, now eight years from vintage date, December, 2013:  Soft, lightly sweet funky blackberry on the nose - past its prime?  Soft, fruity and losing structure on the palate,  Has turned the corner with respect to age - drink up in a hurry!  Still fleshy plum fruit left.

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