Friday, April 11, 2014

Updated Review: **** $$ Cameron Hughes Lot 93 Tempranillo, Rioja, Spain, 2004 = GOOD VALUE

By way of background: This is Lot 93 from the Cameron Hughes series of premium negociant wines - a tempranillo sourced from a co-operative in the well-known and well-regarded Rioja area of Spain.

With a few years of age on the grapes already, and with the generally promising showing of all wines in the Cameron Hughes line so far, it promises to be an interesting experience. Let's see...

Original Review, March, 2009: Lot 93 is deep blood red in color, tending towards opaque in the center of the glass. No bricking at the edges - firm deep red throughout. Massive, luscious nose brings aromas spewing forth from the glass: vanilla, warm melded oak, touches of sweet dirt. Wow. Definitely an old-world style. Reminds me of the cabernet sauvignon from Inglenook in the 1970's that first convinced me wine could be something other-worldly. I'm almost afraid to sip for fear of disappointment after the exhuberant promise of this nose.

But sip I must... And, indeed, there is no disappointment in the palate. Furry tannins are a strong point, coating the deep blackberry in the mid mouth, while acids slowly build along with the oaky fruit. The thick tannins do suggest this could lie back and chill out for another few years without harm.

Still, I would definitely come back to this wine - so three stars on the Spirit of Wine scale. A plus is added for the aromatic grandeur along with the promise for the future.  Good value at its moderate price point.

Updated review, five full years later, now 10 years from vintage date, April, 2014:  Still the same deep, bloody red color, perhaps a hint of brick at the edge.  Poured at cool cellar temperatures, nose shows a warm, vanilla fruit, laced with oak.  Consistent with my description of vintage Inglenook cabernets.  Still soft, full, furry, dry and aromatic on the palate.  Deep and drinkable.  Doesn't need any more time in bottle, but won't be harmed by another year or few!  Reaches four star status at one decade of life and FINALLY becomes a best value!

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

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