Raymond Vineyards Reviews
Powerfully extracted, this needs long exposure to air before the hard edges relent, moving from mineral oil, heat and black tannins to a smoother, softer feel. The texture becomes round and lush, while the mineral notes in the tannins keep it to an elegant line.
The more serious wines start with the 2014 Merlot Reserve, which is 88% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Malbec. This spent 18 months in a combination of different French cooperage. Another excellent value – as one doesn’t see many Merlots these days that are both outstanding and priced at $25.00. This wine has the classic Merlot character of roast coffee, cocoa, chocolate, black cherry and plum-like fruit. It is medium to full-bodied, plush and ideal for drinking over the next 10-12 years.
The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 40th Anniversary is a blend of 17 vineyards, with the dominant part from the Rutherford Estate. The final blend was 92% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Petit Verdot, Malbec and Petit Syrah. This was aged 19 months in about 30% new French oak and bottled unfiltered. A real beauty, and, for a top Napa Cabernet, an excellent price point. The wine has a dense bluish purple color, a sweet kiss of crème de cassis, licorice, camphor and subtle toast. Relatively opulent on the attack and midpalate, the wine is medium to full-bodied with silky tannin, adequate acidity and impressive purity and length. There are 17,000 cases of this wine, and it is definitely worth taking a serious look at.
Full-bodied, concentrated and chocolatey with a wealth of grippy, light-grained and chalky texture and notes of black currant jam, currant leaf and toasted oak. Long, flavorful finish that is simultaneously juicy and drying. Ready-to-drink but will age nicely for seven years or so.
High-intensity and reflective of its mountainous heritage, this 100% varietal wine is elegant and velvety, despite its thick tannin structure. It offers equal components of berry pie, black pepper and cardamon. Smooth on the palate, it’s ready now, well made and in balance. — V.B.
A rich red, this is structured and firm in the middle, then it loosens up to a touch of sweetness in the end. There's interesting detail in the tannins, yielding the scent of tobacco and the feel of crushed stone. The flavors are smoky with oak, broad and juicy, built for eggplant roasted with ground lamb.
From the cooler reaches of the Napa Valley, this Coombsville wine is herbal and leathery, with a taste of bittersweet chocolate at its core. Integrated oak plays a background role behind baked plum and intense, ripe fruit, finishing in tobacco. — V.B.
Crisp and high in acidity, this wine mixes cinnamon, vanilla and pear flavors, accented by a note of exotic orange blossom on the nose. With a low presence of oak and medium body, it remains fresh and vibrant in the glass, offering a hit of toast and vanilla on the finish. —V.B.
Fleshy and dry, this voluptuous wine has an abundance of creamy weight on the palate, but it never veers too far, remaining balanced and ultimately elegant. Stone fruit and quince vie for attention, with a salty undertow of lemongrass and ginger.