Sunday, February 3, 2013

Updated Review: **** $$ Cameron Hughes Lot 247 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, CA, 2009 - BEST VALUE

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By way of background, opening thoughts:  Cameron Hughes is a negociant, a wine producer who obtains grapes, juices and wines from various locations, seeking to create high-value offerlings at given price points.  The cabernet sauvignon here was acquired from a  younger Napa Valley vineyard that sells wine with similar heritage at substantially higher prices.

Original tasting and review , October, 2011: This is Cameron Hughes Lot 247 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, CA, 2009, finished at a not-too-shy, very American-styled 14.7% alcohol.

In the glass: Lot 247 is deep magenta, opaque about a half in in from the edge.

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, shows remarkably shy, understated fruit.  Digging your nose in deeply, you pick up some fresh plums hiding inside the alcohol.  From the aroma, seems like this will be restrained and young, perhaps waiting for more time to blossom. 

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact much more powerful, with sleek and silty fruit moving across the palate.  So gentle in feel, yet with sweet black cherry and light spices coming through layered in robes of softer tannins.  You almost need to chew your way through to the finish, which lets additional soft red fruit and ripe blackberry squeeze out. 

In summary: Overall, compelling gentleness, power, softness and balance earns three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, falling just shy of the fourth star, but gaining a plus for its elegance throughout.  Definitely a good value.  May become a best value with some time.

Following long decant, full day kept cool in partially filled bottle:  Tiniest hint of lavender on the nose.  Consistent, soft and luxurious on the palate, with chewiness giving way to chocolate.  Makes its way toward a fourth star with this decant.  Still has a wonderful restraint.  

Updated review, over a year later, February, 2013:  Shy but still fragrant.  Soft, full, furry and chewy. Definitely hit the fourth star.

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