Cameron Hughes Lot 555 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
According to Cameron Hughes ( aka “Cam”) this wine was actually the biggest release of 2014 for the wine negociant. By biggest he does not mean most cases produced. Only 1,000 cases of Lot 555 were made, what he means is big, as in a BIG wine sourced from one of the top producers in Napa. The wine was sourced from ” a fantastic estate in Rutherford deeply rooted in classical traditions and family winemaking heritage. Its vineyards are certainly amongst Napa’s finest, and definitely in the discussion for the top 10.” According to Chwine.com. Interesting, the label says Napa Valley, which tells me that either there was something in the Non Disclosure Agreement with the producer and or the base wine was back blended with other A.V.A.’s to the point that it could longer be considered a pure “Rutherford District”.
The first thing I noticed after opening the bottle is the cork. I’m not sure if all of Cameron’s wines have switched to the plastic/rubber cork, but I was certainly surprised to see it. Maybe I’m a full blown wine snob, but for some reason the synthetic cork really rubbed me the wrong way. This wine retails for $29 and comes from one of the top 10 vineyards in Napa, I thought there was a bit of a disconnect with the “cheap” enclosure. Maybe I just need to get over it, like I did the screw cap bottles, eventually.
The next thing I noticed is the wine is good. It’s great. Classic Napa Valley floor nose and palate. Rich bold, powerful, notes of plum and blackcurrant intermixed with tart raspberry. Fine “dusty” tannins and espresso round out the finish. Right now the wine is very young. The wine is astringent and mouth puckering at this point even after 24 hours of decanting. This is definitely a buy and hold wine for the short term to medium term. I bought 6 bottles of this wine and I’ll revisit Lot 555 in about a year from now at the end of 2015 to see how it’s coming along. If it plays out like most of Cams other “big” wines, I’ll be wishing I had bought more. Unfortunately, storage has become a problem for me and without a significant investment in temperature controlled storage, I’m going to have to hold off on adding more to my collection for the time being.