Tuesday, December 22, 2009

2007 Cameron Hughes Pinot Noir Carneros Lot 125

Just gets better and better and better...

Rating: Give this value-priced Pinot some time to breathe and your patience will be rewarded.  Damned tasty.  Get some.


The rest of the story:
Full disclosure: This wine was a gift from a Dan and Stephanie, Winethropology friends and readers.
It's kind of funny to think that a $20 is considered "value-priced", but these days - as we've said before - it's tough to find a drinkable Pinot for under $20 and finding a tasty one for under $30 is even harder.  So, when we come across a wine like this, it makes us happy.

Even though it's a few bucks north of this wine and this wine, we think of it as being in the same club.

Cameron Hughes is a negociant.  They buy surplus juice from wineries - ready to bottle - and they market it under their own brands.  There are five brands under the CH umbrella and this is our first exposure to their wines.  We will certainly be on the lookout for future offerings from these folks...

While you can't really give them credit for making this terrific wine, you gotta hand it to them for spotting this quality lot and making it available to the market at this price. 

As for the wine itself, its intoxicating nose is suggestive of great things to come.  On opening the body is lighter than expected, but it's got good spice and flavor - classic California Pinot profile.  With more acid than you'd expect, it's unafraid of even strongly flavored foods. 

We noticed a significant transformation as it opened up.  Our notes read that "it just gets better and better and better" as it breathes.  So give yourself some time to enjoy the lovely garnet color in the glass before gulping it down. 

Now, it also softens with air and in the process loses some of its spice.  While that translates to a loss in complexity, it also translates to this wine being eminently drinkable after some breathing time.

The website has this wine priced at $18.  And get this, shipping is free on cases purchases! We've only seen it for retail purchase at Whole Foods and that was for $19.99.  Totally worth it.

In response to this review, Cameron Hughes replied, "...that we buy only bulk wine is only one dimension of our business model. More and more often we are working with vineyards and wineries and making wine together... If you are looking for additional information it can be found here…http://store.chwine.com/shared/StoreFront/default.asp?CS=chw&StoreType=BtoC&Count1=725536525&Count2=642676949&CategoryID=6&Target=products.asp
My recommendations right now if you liked [Lot 125] would be to try Lots 110, and 142 as they share some similar component wines but also go in different directions with other blending components.
All of the cabs we have at the high-end are stellar, 116, 143, 146, 164, 149 and the killer deal, Lot 147.
I am also a big fan of the garnacha’s from Spain 128 and 129 – same wine, different oak regimens.
I could go on forever...

Cheers!

Cameron

Case order coming your way, Cameron.