Thursday, March 5, 2009

**+ Cameron Hughes Lot 100 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006, Stags Leap District, Napa Valley, CA - Review and Rating

Review: This is the 100th lot from wine negociant Cameron Hughes, who has put together some interesting varietals and blends in recent years. We began profiling the Cameron Hughes line in early 2008, and have reviewed a number of lots. Most have proven to be excellent value for the money.

Lot 100 is an ambitious selection of a cabernet sauvignon from the highly-reputed - but usually quite costly - Stags Leap area of Napa. This 2006 vintage wine will be reviewed here well before its natural drinking window, which would typically look for at least another couple years of aging. But at this point, we should be able to tell the "stuff" that the wine is built of.

The color is deep red, opaque in the center of the glass, suggesting an intense experience ahead. Aromas hurtle from the glass upon the initial swirl. There is a strong mix of alcoholic purple fruit and oak on the nose. The solid 14.4% alcohol level helps this diffusion into the air.

On the palate, the impression is one of a much lighter wine than suggested by the color and aromas. It is distinctly dry but bright in the mid-palate. Cheek-stitching acids climb the sides of your mouth, almost to your eye-sockets. The acids are backed by some definite tannins and keep the wine on your palate for a long, slowly descending finish. Can sit for a long time knitting together in the cellar.

For now, because of the unbalance towards acid and alcohol, two stars on the Spirit of Wine scale, but we're adding a plus for potential. Lot 100 may be quite intriguing after a long decant or a few more years in the cellar.

Wine sample provided by Cameron Hughes Wine. Cameron Hughes wine lots may be found here.

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