Monday, June 20, 2011

Spirit of Wine Review & Rating: ***+ $$ Cameron Hughes Lot 222 Chardonnay, Los Carneros, CA, 2009 (GOOD VALUE)

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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 is a chardonnay from Los Carneros, CA, identified as one of Jess' picks.  Review sample was obtained from Cameron Hughes.

Original tasting and review : This is Cameron Hughes Lot 222 Chardonnay, Los Carneros, CA, 2009, finished at a not-too-shy 14.6% alcohol.  This is the exact same wine and vintage as past Cameron Hughes Lots 209 and 214.  Why?  Call it marketing discretion. 

In the glass: CH Lot 222 is light yellow with gold highlights.

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, shows bold piercing aromatics of metallic butterscotch.  Piercing stainless steel, yet fruity and buttery too.  From the aroma, seems like this will be both precise, bright and still mouth-filling. 

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact layered tropical fruits wrapped in a frame of butter.  Think ripe apples, pineapple, honeydew melon. The softness of some oak aging makes its mark, and yet a structure and some light acids sit behind it all.  Lengthy finish wraps with a bit of syrup on the palate, but draws another sip.  Big chardonnay, call it "old-school" if you'd like, in a good sort-of way. 

In summary: Overall, rates three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with a plus for its big, blousy, friendly style.  Very good value.

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Find prices and retail availability for Cameron Hughes chardonnay and blends.

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