chalk hill

Wine Review | Cameron Hughes Lot 188

Cameron Hughes Lot 188, 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Chalk Hill Sonoma County

Alcohol: 14.5%Chalk Hill Cabernet Sauvignon

Production: 7,500 cases

Price: $16 retail

This wine is sourced from the same vineyard/winery as Lot 73 and Lot 140 in the Chalk Hill area of Sonoma County.  Cameron Hughes Wine secured all of the Cabernet coming off  this 500+ acre vineyard which is the source for over 20 ultra premium brands.  The winery who held this Cabernet contract previously was selling their wine for $60 a bottle.

On the nose,  gentle aromas of raspberries and blackberries.  The palate has a rich mouthfeel with fine chalk like tannins.  NOTE: the wine does not taste like chalk!  Great balance of acidity tannins and fruit, and a decent finish make this wine a heck of a deal for $16 online, or $13.99 at select Costco’s.  If you enjoyed Lot 140 you will really enjoy Lot 188.  It’s just a little bigger and bolder, but equally ready to drink, a “pop and pour” wine as they say.  Although, with just a little decanting this wine will taste even better.  Cameron Hughes says this is a great “go to” wine…I agree.  It’s a great weekly drinker, a great wine if you’re suddenly in the mood for wine and don’t have hours to wait for the wine to decant.

Wine Review: Rodney Strong, 2007 Estate Chalk Hill Chardonnay, Sonoma County

Price: About $20, as tested $9.97 at Costco

How was it made? 97% French oak barrels, 97% malolactic, and aged 9 months.

According the company literature, this wine should be enjoyed over the next 1-3 years.  It’s near the end of April, 2010 right now, so I believe we are reaching the end of this window, let’s see what it has left shall we?

On the Nose: Pear Pineapple butter and toast, not necessarily in that order, and it’s not abundantly obvious.  The nose is subtle.

On the Palate: The Palate is a lot nicer than the nose lets on.  The fruit is riper than the nose would suggest.  With 97% malolactic fermentation the fruit is predominantly green apple with a little hint of pineapple sweetness interwoven in the oak.

The finish is not that long, and not  complex, but it was well balanced.  Of the two Chardonnay’s I paired with my French baguette, Brie and roasted garlic appetizer, the Rodney Strong was a better match with that particular dish.  The other wine was Merryvale Starmont, read my review here.