Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Chardonnay Season Is Coming, People

With Memorial Day almost upon us, many of you will be stocking up on porch quaffers. Is it any coincidence that the Winethropology sample queue is almost entirely made up of chardonnays? Well, consider that fair warning of what you'll be reading a lot about on these pages in the coming weeks.  And, as a kick off, we have an appearance by an oldie-but-goodie brand, Cameron Hughes.

My coverage of Cameron Hughes's wines and business model is well-documented, going back more than nine years. Re-reading some of those pieces traces the arc of the business' rise, stumble, and retooling. Today, CH Wine is owned by industry juggernaut Vintage Wine Estates and available only by direct order.  It was fun to revisit the brand after such a long hiatus and hope to explore more of what they've been getting into recently. 

2017 Cameron Hughes Chardonnay Rogue Valley (Oregon) Lot 672 $14
To deliver a solid QPR, you've got to start with good grapes that don't cost an arm and a leg. For this lot, CH turned to the still-emerging region of Rogue Valley in Oregon's southwest, from which I've had some terrific pinot noirs recently. This chard sports a clean nose, tropical fore-palate, acidity on the mid that persists, and cream along the finish. Butter and oak spice emerge as the wine warms towards room temp. It tastes like good old American Chardonnay, which is apropos for this holiday weekend.

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