Monday, January 2, 2012

Updated Review: **** $$ Cameron Hughes Lot 161 Meritage, Sonoma, CA, 2007 - BEST VALUE

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By way of background: This is Cameron Hughes Lot 161 Meritage from Sonoma, CA.  Cameron Hughes is a negociant, and has put this red blend together from 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Cabernet Franc, 10% Merlot . The 2007 vintage is finished at 15.3% alcohol.

Original Tasting and Review:  August, 2010:

In the glass:  Deep burgundy, moving towards opaque in the middle.

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, this shows a spicy and alcoholic nose with deep red fruits.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are solid, husky, deeply-toned blackberries. Solid tannins and bright acids backing the black fruit. 

In summary: Overall, three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale.  Solid, and seems to have more promise with decant or further age.

Following long decant, two days kept cool in partially-filled bottle:  Inky plum with the spices on the nose.  The blackberries are richer and darker, bringing a smooth tone to the experience.

Updated review, about a year and a half later,  January, 2012:  Consistent color.  The nose is bolder now, not only with deep red fruits, but distinct menthol and eucalyptus overtones, along with some solid oak.  Bright, sweet and fun red fruits are packing a playground of fun on the palate. They bring bold, bright currants along with deep-hearted blackberry, all still with a somewhat gruff tannic surround.  Playful and still aging well.  This jumps a full star with additional time in bottle to touch four stars and become a Spirit of Wine "best value".   

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