Lot 140

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.

4 Awesome Wines under $20

The down-turn in the economy has provided me with some amazing opportunities to try high-end wines.  The metro-Phoenix area has been hit very hard by the recession.  A lot of grocery stores and warehouse stores have reduced their high-end wine inventories, slashed prices, and replaced the floor space with things that people might buy more of in a recession.  Things like bread and vegetables, instead of second-growth Bordeaux.

As a result I have been able to pick up some of these $50-$100 wines for about half price, and I have been reviewing and enjoying them.  It occurred to me last week that not everyone can get their hands on these mark-downs. I decided to balance out my reviewing with some great under $20 bargains.

So, just in time for the Christmas season, here are some awesome wines under $20

#1:

Cameron Hughes, Lot 140, 2007, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chalk Hill, Sonoma County.  $13.99 at select Costco’s.

On the nose: Raspberry,  Bing cherry and Anise.

On the Palate: Cocoa and a hint of mint

See my review of it full review of it here .

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#2:

Next up is d’Arenberg’s “Laughing Magpie”

one the nose: floral notes with cranberry and cherries

on the palate:  Ripe and juicy, velvety mouth-feel

full review here

$18.99 at Costco

#3:

And thirdly, just to switch things up a little bit (I have been reviewing mostly reds)  it’s a Sauvignon Blanc from Titus Vineyards:

Deliciously smooth with ripe fruit and well balanced acidity, more on this wine here.

It’s $20 on their website and most wineries websites are a little higher than the average retail, so you could probably find it cheaper than $20 at a retail outlet.  But you’ll have to be quick about it, there were only 380 cases made!

#4:

And last but not least:  Chalone Vineyard Monterey Cabernet, 2007

$16.99 retail, although with coupons and discounts I ended up paying about $7.56 a bottle

13.5% alcohol, vanilla oak, well balanced oak and fruit, see full review here

Cameron Hughes, Lot 140. Cabernet Sauvignon, Chalk Hill, Sonoma, 2007

Currently this wine is only available at select Costco Wholesale Stores.

From the company literature: “…aromas of raspberry, Bing cherries, and roasted herbs, accompanied by delicate undertones of anise and hints of mint…vibrant mouth-feel and substantial tannins, the palate enjoys cocoa and cherry, with a distinct coffee finish.  Nicely balanced, with good acidity and well integrated oak…mid-palate is fruit-driven and lush, leading toward a more structured, textural finish…”

I decanted for an hour before my first sip.   I was in love with the aroma of this wine right away.  I really picked up on the raspberry and anise.  On the mouth a definite cocoa and cherry, ripe Bing cherry.  A little later on, the mint started to make a subtle appearance.  The oak is really well balanced, (there is no “Oak Monster” lurking in the bottle as Gary Vaynerchuk would say)  This wine is a lot more to my liking than the William Hill Estate Cabernet that I reviewed last week.  Lot 140 blends the pretty aromas of Chimney Rock Cabernet with the big fruit-driven tannins of Spring Mountain.  It’s everything I like about wine, all in one bottle!  Even more amazing is the alcohol content… 14.9%!  I had no idea it was that high, there is absolutely no heat present.  And here’s the kicker… it retails for $13.99 at Costco!  How can it be so good and so cheap??!  You can find Cameron Hughes Wine Lot 140 at select Costco’s in California and Arizona.

P.S.  (Dec 16th–just found out–total production on this wine is 8,000 cases)

Has anyone else tried Lot 140?  What do you think?  Go ahead and leave a comment!