Saturday, June 18, 2011

Spirit of Wine Review & Rating: **** $$ Cameron Hughes Lot 208 Cabernet Sauvignon 50% Syrah 50%, Napa Valley, CA, 2008 (BEST 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 combination cabernet sauvignon and syrah from Napa Valley, identified as one of Cameron's picks.  Review sample was obtained from Cameron Hughes.


Original tasting and review : This is Cameron Hughes Lot 208 Cabernet Sauvignon 50% Syrah 50%, Napa Valley, CA, finished at 14.5% alcohol.  The wine was obtained from the recently closed Havens Wine Cellars, located near Yountville, Napa. 

In the glass: CH Lot 208 is deep magenta in the glass, almost opaque from about a half inch in from the edge.

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, shows deep classic cabernet fruit, with an overlay of black pepper.  From the aroma, seems like this will be young, full and powerful.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact a bold, smooth tannic deep red fruit that first touches the roof of your mouth.  There it releases its red and black cassis flavors, dripping with elements of charred oak.  A softness moves across your tongue, and tames the potent sip by the time it reaches your cheeks.  In your cheeks, it lodges with a touch of acids and holds fixed for a full minute or more.  Keeps you thirsty for another sip. 

In summary: Overall, rates three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale.  Because I'm convinced some additional layering and knitting will come with air or time in bottle, a plus is in order.  Good value.

Following long decant, full day in decanter at room temperature:  Softer nose now has lost the pepper.  Aromatic palate shows brilliant red and black berries, an entire smorgasbord on your tongue.  Lovely brightness and yet depth.  Leaps to four stars.  Best value now.  I highly recommend the decant, or alternatively some additional time in bottle.  

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Find prices and retail availability for Cameron Hughes cabernet sauvignon and blends.

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