Sunday, June 12, 2011

Spirit of Wine Review & Rating: ***+ $$ Cameron Hughes Lot 236 Syrah, Clear Lake, Lake County, California, 2007 (GOOD VALUE)

Find prices and retail availability for Cameron Hughes syrah.

By way of background, opening thoughts:  Cameron Hughes is a negociant, a wine producer who obtains grapes and/or wines from various locations, seeking to create high-value offerings.  This one is a Lake County syrah, identified as one of Cameron's personal picks.  Review sample was obtained from Cameron Hughes.

Original tasting and review : This is Cameron Hughes Lot 236 Syrah, Clear Lake, Lake County, California, 2007, finished at a whopping 15.8% alcohol.  This comes from a single vineyard at Madder Lake.

In the glass: CH Lot 236 is opaque magenta in the glass, transparent only within about a quarter inch of the edge. On swirling, deep purple stains the glass.

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, shows soft, deep oaked ripe blackberry and blueberry, well-knitted together.   From the aroma, seems like this will be bold, deep, thick and luscious.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact full and silky deep fruit, with a creamy texture and defined by a solid surrounding oak grittiness.   Deep blueberry with hints of dark cocoa seem the primary flavor elements, with a sandy overlay.  Lots of pleasure now, but the sandy tannins suggest promise for the future. 

In summary: Overall, rates three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with a plus for its latent power.  Lot 236 definitely seems to be holding something in reserve. Not surprising for the Cameron Hughes line, this is a good value based on the Spirit of Wine criteria.

Following long decant, three hours in decanter at room temperature:  More sweet plum on the nose now.  Full plum and oak on the palate. 

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