Friday, August 31, 2012

Updated Review: ***** $$ Cameron Hughes Lot 213 Meritage, 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 a high-value offering.  The Napa meritage here was blended with a base of Havens merlot along with some petit verdot.

Original tasting and review, September, 2011: This is Cameron Hughes Lot 213 Meritage, Napa Valley, CA, 2008, finished at 14.7% alcohol.  The blend is 81% merlot and 19% petit verdot.

In the glass: Deep burgundy, turning almost opaque about an inch from the edge of the glass.

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, shows slight cream, cinnamon and cedar along with ripe plums.  From the aroma, seems like this will be bold and chewy. 

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact soft, spicy and oaked, dripping sweet, sandy tannins along your cheeks.  Red and black fruits intermingle, in this base of structured soft tannins.  Keeps feeding sweet fruit into your cheeks for a minute or more, while still remaining clean and fresh. 

In summary: Overall, dreamy, silty, seductive experience rates an astonishing five stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, standing out for its shimmery power.  I see so few five star wines, it is a delight to see one come from this creative negociant.  Awesome best value.

Following long decant, full day kept cool in partially filled bottle:  Consistent aroma, light elements of motor oil appear.  Still nicely mingled fruits, sandy tannins and sweet, gentle acids.  What a keeper!
Updated review, almost a year later, August, 2012:  Consistent color.  The aroma elements are there too, though they seem a bit muted.  Ahh, but the palate is still fresh and potent, still silty and seductive.  Cameron Hughes has hit a home run with 213, its merlot-driven meritage from Napa.  I wouldn't be afraid to cellar this longer than its current four years from vintage date, but I am not arguing that it needs it.

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1 comment:

  1. I tried this wine for the first time last night. It was absolutely superb, so much so I decided to search out what others thought and found this blog. Great review. Astonishing value.

    Barry Carvish
    Victoria, British Columbia, Canada