Disclaimer: I was given a signed bottle as a gift, by Jessica Hughes, who clearly states that I ROCK!
Alrighty then, with that technical matter out of the way lets get down to business.
Lot 197 hails from the Carneros area of Napa Valley, although it does not state this on the label, Cameron mentions it on his website. Production for this wine is a miniscule 518 cases and the wine retails for $12 a bottle.
Though I would not call myself a big Merlot drinker, this is definitely a Merlot I could get used to. It is a big monster of a Merlot, with alcohol coming in at a whopping 15.3%. A big whiff reveals a bit of an alcoholic burn in the nostrils, but that is nicely evened out by the aromas of red berry fruit. On the palate this wine is ripe, which has more to do with the alcohol % than sugar. The palate consists of ripe black cherry and chocolate. The alcohol content is certainly going to be an issue for some people, and it usually is for me, but this wine is an exception. The fruit and the smooth tannins, really play well with the alcohol which enhances the aromatics as well. And for $12 it’s definitely a deal. I paired this wine with a tomato based pasta sauce seasoned with cayenne. The heat of the sauce really played well against the ripeness of the wine.
Rating: 89 points