3 new releases from Cameron Hughes | Nov 2013

Cameron Hughes Wines Lot 387, 337 and 425

wine bottle stained

Lot 387 Meritage | Lot 387 Merlot | Lot 425 Pinot Noir

I had the chance to host a team tasting for a national wine sales company last month and taste a wide variety of wines including 5 new wines from Cameron Hughes Wine.    [learn more about cameron hughes wine]

In this post I’m just going to go through the wines rapid fire.  I’ll write more on the releases and Cameron Hughes in the next article.

Lot 387, 2011 Merlot, Oakville Napa Valleystained wine label

100% Oakville fruit   

87% Merlot 

13% Cabernet Sauvignon

14.1% Alcohol      

Production: 6500 cases

According to the Cameron Hughes website the source of the merlot in this deal is a family well known for farming the best dirt in Oakville but only has a small wine label of their own.  The cabernet components are sourced from “Stagecoach vineyard and two other $100+ cab producers – it even has a few barrels of Hughes Wellman petit verdot and malbec components”

As of Dec 11th, 2013 the wine is unreleased and there’s no definite price but judging by Cameron Hughes other Napa Valley wine projects its safe to say it will be in the $15-$20 range.

The taste

As soon as I first tasted this wine, within a few seconds I recognized the wine.  It was familiar to me.  But frustratingly I couldn’t put my finger on it.   Not being a MASTER SOMMERLIER  I was never able to rapid fire describe this wine like Data the android from Star Trek the Next Generation. The taste, mouthfeel and aroma were a distinct schism between Napa and something extra and unique.  Slightly earthy Napa.  A sort of Rutherford dusty but dark and young Oakville mixed with a dark and young fruit.  The Hughes Wellman component is interesting, although a couple of barrels out of 6500 cases might be a little difficult to distinguish.

What does this mean?   It’s a nice wine. For the price point it would be really difficult to find a better Merlot.  This wine would definitely be more of the Cabernet Sauvignon lovers Merlot.  This wine would pair equally with grilled meats just as well with rich tomato based pasta dishes, although I had it with a cheese platter from Costco.

Lot 337, 2010 Meritage, Rutherford Napa Valleywine label with piano

100% Rutherford fruit

68% Merlot

29% Cabernet Sauvignon

3% Petite Verdot

Production: 2225 Cases

I tasted these wines only a few weeks ago and in the time since, this Lot 337 has actually sold out online.  It will only be available at select Costco’s in Arizona and California.

The taste

Immediately I thought American Bordeaux.  For the $15-$20 this wine was sold at its another great value.  It would be quite difficult to find a comparable Napa Meritage at this price.  This wine received both a 90 point rating and editor’s choice from Wine Enthusiast.  I thought it was decent.  Very decent.  Although not a style I find myself drinking regularly, Meritage does offer a nice change up to more regular varietal specific wines.  For people who prefer blends that are true blends and not just a single component topped off with a few other components, this would be a great wine.

Lot 425 2012 Pinot Noir, Central Coast  *California*

Not everyone knows that Central Coast means California so I always put that in there.  I used to live on the north coast.  Of British Columbia, Canada.  To me, the central coast was a largely uninhabited temperate rainforest.  wine label stains100% Central Coast fruit. 100% Pinot Noir. 

Alcohol 14.2% Production 4,500 cases

The taste

Again, immediate value on this wine.  Priced at $16 online, possibly less at retailers this is very nice Pinot Noir.  It’s light and fruit forward, yet dry and bold  enough to make it interesting.  Full disclosure:  I was given a bottle of this wine that was leftover from the Cameron Hughes Lot 500 pre release party.  This review is based on that bottle, tasted over 2 nights at 4,326 feet above sea level.

Light, crisp, somewhat young fruit.  Plum and cherry.  Not a terribly complex pinot but more complex than most wines in this price range.  A really solid pinot.  And I’m really a very critical pinot person, I’m much more of a bigger red wine drinker, but this was a decent wine that I could drink and enjoy.  Which I did, with dark chocolate almond clusters from Sprout’s Farmer’s Market.

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