Thursday, December 22, 2011

Updated Review: ****+ $$ Cameron Hughes Lot 177 Syrah, Napa Valley, CA, 2007 - BEST VALUE

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Opening Thoughts: Napa is known for a range of outstanding wines - interestingly, though, syrah is not generally one of them.  This syrah hails from Cameron Hughes, a negociant working to put together high value offerings from various regions, mostly in California.

By way of background: This is Cameron Hughes Lot 177 Syrah, Napa Valley, CA, 2006, finished at 15.% alcohol, a whopping high level for Napa grapes.

Original Tasting and Review, August, 2010:


In the glass: This syrah shows as deep burgundy in the glass, opaque from about a half inch from the edge.

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, CH Lot 177 offers a clean, shy nose, showing more alcohol than fruit. 

On the palate: On the palate, though, deep, luscious fruit comes through with a bang - rich and sleek blackberry pairing with black plum.  Inky tannins wrap this tightly-packed yet explosive bundle.  The finish, backed by the heady level of alcohol, grabs your cheeks and lodges for a good, long time, continuing to spit out black purple fruit.

In summary: Overall, intense, new-world experience, loaded for bear. Rates four stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, making this a best value.
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Updated review, almost a year and a half later, December, 2012:   Still deep burgundy in the glass.  The nose remains shy, but lifts some soft chocolate-covered raisins.  The blockbuster palate remains intact, however, adding dark chocolate to ripe blueberry, blackberry and plum.  The tannins have turned to chocolate coatings and the alcohol heat has faded, lifting this four star experience another plus, yielding - a crazy value!  Following long decant, full day kept cool in partially filled bottle: Almost entirely unchanged, with one important exception: the palate has gotten even more chocolately!

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