5 Reasons Why I Love Cameron Hughes Wines and Current Release Tasting Notes

Cameron Hughes Wines

  1. The Decanter Trick

    Pour a bottle into a decanter before your friends come over, tell them you opened a special expensive bottle, and they won’t know the difference!
  2. Hide and Seek

    In the dark, that bright square in the corner of the label makes it easy to grab the right bottle from the cellar.
  3. No Middleman

    Down with the three-tier distribution method!
  4. The Spice of Life

    Thanks to a palate that never gets stale, Cameron seeks out wines that vary by varietal and region, which encourages the adventurous palate in all of us.
  5. Unpretentious Packaging

    You don’t have to whip out the Ginsu to remove a thick foil that probably should have just been a screw cap if they wanted metal on a bottle that thick. You’re also spared dealing with a bottle that’s 25lbs when empty. Who do these other wineries think they are?

The following are my notes from a recent tasting of Cameron’s current/soon to be released line-up.

Lot 17 2004 Barbera, Sierra Foothills $14

This is a big, ripe, juicy wine that offers multiple layers of flavor. The aroma hints of black pepper, blackberry and vanilla and gives way to a full mouthfeel with a 30+ second long finish. This is a very food friendly wine and a fantastic value. This wine is only being sold ONLY on the internet (and is offered right now with free shipping!), which as far as I know is an industry first. This wine saw the inside of new French Oak barrels for 14 months. 300 cases produced. (This was my second time trying this wine, and I feel it has improved in bottle since first tasting it.)

Score: 90 pts

Lot 18 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon, South Africa S11

This lot is comprised of a blend 85% from Stellenbosch, and 15% Paarl, and contains only Cabernet Sauvignon. Those familiar with these regions will find this wine exudes familiar notes of earth and vegetal characters on the nose, although it is still somewhat cloying. Hints of vanilla tantalize your palate, as this medium to full-bodied wine lingers in your mouth. An exceptionally long finish solidifies the notion that this wine will age beautifully over the next 5-7 years. 1,600 cases produced.

Score: 88pts

Lot 19 2004 Merlot, Stellenbosch, South Africa $11

Although not as age-worthy as its big brother, this Merlot also reveals a lot of aromas normally associated with this region of the world. This terroir driven nose delivers tar and cedar, with and a hint of blueberry, which becomes more prominent on your palate. The fruity finish is very nice, although a bit shorter than the Cab. 2,200 cases produced.

Score: 84pts

Lot 20 2005 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, California $11

Another amazing value, this wine saw 20% new French Oak which mellows out and refines some of the brighter flavors associated with Chardonnay that doesn’t go through secondary malolactic fermentation. This is a very complete wine and another great value, offering notes of ripe tropical fruit, pear, toasty oak, and a touch of nutmeg. It is medium bodied, and very well balanced. 6,000 cases produced.

Score: 90 pts

Lot 22 2005 Chardonnay, Edna Valley, California $10

Although from the same vintage as the lot 20, this wine is very different, much more crisp and lively. This wine didn’t see any oak at all, but just like lot 20, did not go through malolactic fermentation. Green apple is prominent on the nose and tongue, with very bright acidity and a nice, long finish. This wine will work great with a variety of food. 10,000 cases produced.

Score: 88pts

Lot 25 1998 Sparkling White Wine, Carneros, California $18

If you are a fan of sparkling wines, you are sure to find this 8 year old bottle to be a great bargain. Lots of stone fruit flavors greet your nose and intertwine with touches of yeast and vanilla. A nice finish with good balance, this 50/50 blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay is sure to impress. Grab a few bottles of this before it sells out. This is an excellent effort and a great value that could probably fetch 3 times the price.

Score: 94 pts

That does it for now. Stay tuned for future notes as Cameron continues to raise the bar and offer consistent values.

More info: CHwine.com or the Corkdork.

Related: Cameron Hughes Wine, Costco’s Best Bargain?