Cameron Hughes Wine Tasting April 26th & 28th
Thursday 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM,
Saturday 12 PM – 5:00 PM
Greetings to all Wine Steward friends,
This week we are excited about the great value Cameron Hughes wines that we have on tasting. In fact, we were so excited that we decided to make it a food and wine event. We have selected 7 great wines from the Cameron Hughes collection to pair with 2 different styles of marinated steak tips from the Prime Butcher. We will be tasting a Californian Chardonnay, a Washington State White Blend, a Russian River Pinot Noir, a Spanish Tempranillo, a Sonoma Zinfandel, a Lake County Californian Cabernet Sauvignon and a Napa Cabernet Sauvignon.
Cameron Hughes wines are similar in concept to the 90+ wines, offering great wines at a fraction of the original winery costs. However, Cameron Hughes has been doing this for the last 10 years.
Bob Mickle, a tasting specialist from Cameron Hughes, will be here on Thursday evening to present their wines. He has a vast knowledge of the wines that we will be tasting.
On Saturday, Christine Zecker, the New England Regional Manager for Cameron Hughes will be here at 1:00pm to present the wines for tasting. She is a chef by trade and has more than 20 years in the wine industry. We are very pleased that Christine has taken time out of her personal schedule to be with us on Saturday for our food and wine event.
We look forward to seeing you at one of our tastings. Thanks,
Cameron Hughes Wine was founded by Cameron Hughes and partner Jessica Kogan who are dedicated to delivering truly exceptional wine at real world prices. This has been their mission since starting their company in San Francisco more than 10 years ago.
The Lot Series of wines preserves the ultra-premium quality of the original Lot by bottling it unadulterated and never "back-blended." Each Lot is numbered to maintain the integrity of the original wine. While each Lot varies in case quantities and price, it always delivers exceptional value.
Most of you have heard of the so-called "wine glut." While this particular flood of wine is a cyclical effect, appearing every ten to fourteen years, there exists another "oversupply" situation that recurs year after year in the wine business.
Unlike the cyclical glut in the value and premium segments of the wine business (wines under $14), the super/ultra-premium and luxury quality wine segments (wines over $14) are oversupplied every year.
Our most recent offering, the Lot Series of wines, takes advantage of this oversupply but takes it one step further. Whereas most of these high-end wines end up being "back-blended" into lesser quality wines to "fix" them, the Lot Series preserves the ultra-premium quality of the original Lot by bottling it unadulterated and never "back-blended."
Back-blended wine brands create "decent" value. By preserving each Lot’s integrity, we create "extreme value."
Each Lot is numbered to maintain the integrity of the original wine. While each Lot varies in case quantities and price, it always delivers exceptional value.
Camer Hughes Lot 280 Chardonnay 2009
Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
Tasting Notes: Lot 280 is woven with layers of citrus, white fig, toasty oak and hazelnut. The wine is opulently styled with waves of fruit essence. Crisp acidity and beautiful savory notes on the palate carry through to a long, lingering finish. 90 points Robert Parker’s Wine Ad vocate.
Cameron Confidential: Arroyo Seco is one of the best places in California to grow Chardonnay. This vineyard has been growing Chardonnay since the 1960’s. Planted to three Dijon clones and two proprietary clones, this vineyard boasts a line of grapes originally selected for its intense varietal character and low yield. The cool growing season and the deep gravelly soil ripen the Chardonnay perfectly, creating a natural balance of sugar and acidity. 13.8% Alcohol. Drink now through 2015.
Food Pairing: This Chard should pair well
with Crab, Shrimp, Salmon, Chicken, Turkey, Duck, Veal, Pork, D’Affinois, Gouda, and
Parmesan. The following spices bring out the best in this Chardonnay:
Basil, Thyme and Saffron.
Cameron Hughes Lot 259 White 2010
Origin: Columbia River Valley, Washington
Varietal: 70% Riesling and 30% Chenin Blanc
Tasting Notes: Pale yellow with a golden straw center. This wine is layered with racy citrus and stone-fruit facets. Sultry nectarine and white floral notes float over sherbet qualities and bright acidity. A juicy and balanced palate enhances a vibrant and fresh finish.
Cameron Confidential: We received samples from this winery last year and were very impressed. Quite often, we receive samples of great wine that with some TLC from our winemaker Sam Spencer can really shine. In the case of Lot 151 and now 259, Sam blended in about 30% Chenin Blanc to round out an already killer Riesling. This balanced the acid and sugar of the Riesling while filling the nose with some gorgeous fruit. I am very excited to release Lot 259, the following year’s vintage of Lot 151, just in time for summer. 2011 GOLD - Tasters Guild Intl.
Food Pairing: This wine is great on its own or pair with light
summer fare or spicy foods.
Cameron Hughes Lot 271 Pinot Noir 2009
Origin: Russian River Valley, California
Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir
Tasting Notes : Intense aromas of dark plum, fresh cherry, red raspberry and toasty spice dominate the bouquet. It shows a bold mid-palate and complex acidity. Beautiful oak couples with rich playful fruit for a smooth and elegant wine that boasts a long, velvety finish.
Cameron Confidential: Lot 271 is sourced from vineyards grown in sites indicative of the appellation’s best attributes for growing Pinot Noir – sandy, loamy soils within reach of the maritime influences of the Pacific Ocean. This wine is a classic representation of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir of the 2009 vintage. A long cool period during fruit ripening allowed delicate fruit flavors and aromas to develop with grace and elegance. This wine is seamlessly integrated with pitch-perfect balance and is just a great value all the way around. 14.4% Alcohol. Drink now through 2017. 90 points Wine Enthusiast. 2011 GOLD Long Beach Grand Cru.
Food Pairing: Pinot Noir is well-suited to
pair with poultry, beef, fish, ham, lamb and pork. It will pair well with
creamy sauces, spicy seasonings and may just be one of the world's most
versatile food wines.
Cameron Hughes Lot 263 Tempranillo Gran Reserva 2002
Origin : Ribera del Duero, Spain
Varietal: 100% Tempranillo
Tasting Notes: Time has served our Lot 263 2002 Ribera Del Duero Gran Reserva well, revealing an incredible nose of cedar, graphite, licorice, black pepper and sweet cigar smoke. It has incredibly pure plum fruit and a silken opulent texture paired with a powerful structure built for aging – this wine will go another 20 years easily. Fruit and earth meld seamlessly here and you can actually smell the minerality that runs the length of this beautiful wine. 13.5% Alcohol
Cameron Confidential : Sam and I have often wondered about the Spanish propensity to bottle wine and sit on it for years on end. In fact, many of the photos we took while there a few years back were of acres and acres of bottled wine with no labels. It struck us cash flow types as unbelievable. That said, the historical reasons for the Spaniards cave aging their wines for so long really have to do with their tannin structures – the wines were typically hard edged and needed time in the cellar to soften. Sourced from 40 to 80 year old vines, the wine undergoes 40 days of maceration before a hot, fast fermentation to maximize aromatics before going down to barrel for 36 months of ageing in oak. Now, to answer your question – how the heck did I get my hands on this wine? Well, it’s not terribly interesting to be honest, but there’s not a lot I can say about it either. This is one of Spain’s larger wine companies and this is their best wine. Trust me – I tasted through the entire portfolio. The wine would retail here for $65+ a bottle and probably more now with the weak dollar. At this price it’s an incredible deal.
Food Pairing: This wine will pair well
with just about any meat, more flavorful fish, or poultry dish; including
venison and tuna steaks. It also pairs well with traditional Italian
foods such as Lasagna and Antipasti.
Cameron Hughes Lot 223 Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Origin: High Valley, Lake County, California
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Petite Sirah and Syrah
Tasting Notes: This wine is darkly colored and beautifully aromatic with cassis, graphite and violet-tinged blackberry aromas leaping from the glass. Amply structured, dense, and perfectly balanced, Lot 223 is a wine that punches way above its weight.
Cameron Confidential: Lot 223 2009 High Valley, Lake County Cabernet Sauvignon is made from the same vineyards, winery, and fantastic consulting winemaker as Lot 224 2009 Syrah. Sourced from almost 30 year old vines planted in volcanic soils at 2000 feet altitudes in the High Valley appellation of Lake County, Lot 223 is a similarly fantastic value. It is made in small batch fermenters and aged in 25% new French oak. Decant for an hour in the near term and cellar another 5-8 years. GREAT VALUE! (the winery sells their Cabernet from the same vineyards for upwards of $40/bottle).
Food Pairing: Food pairings include steaks
and roasts, spareribs, lamb, game dishes, firm cheeses such as cheddar and hard
cheeses such as parmigiano and romano. This wine has enough fruit to pair
perfectly with all barbecued foods as well.
Cameron Hughes Lot 243 Zinfandel 2009
Origin: Sonoma County, California
Tasting Notes: Lot 243 is a big, sexy, fruit bomb with lavish black fruit woven with black pepper and spice. Soft silken tannins and a gorgeous texture conspire elegantly. Seductive and succulent with a luxurious finish. Alcohol 16.5%. Drink now through 2015.
Cameron Confidential: North Coast brands are being bought, sold, and traded lately as vintners struggle to stay ahead of their obligations. The wines we sourced from this deal make up a considerable part of the repositioning of a particular ultra-premium Zinfandel and Zin-based blend producer that was sold a year or so ago. As part of the deal one of the brands was discontinued altogether and we purchased all of those wines and others from the flagship brand as they sought to maintain their price point by reducing inventory. This is a classic deal for Cameron Hughes Wine but it’s also a one-time deal as they severely cut back the 2010 contracts so grab what you can of these incredible values.
Food Pairing : Foods to pair with this Zinfandel include sausage, beef, lamb, pork and venison, either braised, grilled or roasted. The lower tannin in this wine can accommodate some heat from hot spices, so ribs with a spicy barbecue sauce are considered almost a classic match. Other foods that work well with Zins are tomatoes sauces, eggplant dishes, mushrooms and olives.
Cameron Hughes Lot 300 Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Origin: Napa Valley, California
Varietal: 97% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Malbec, 1% Petit Verdot
Tasting Notes: Black fruit essence and crème de cassis is interlaced with exotic spice and liquid minerals. Silken texture and fine-grained tannins provide for a breathtaking palate. Deftly and perfectly balanced, this wine showcases the beautiful fruit and alluvial tannins of Oakville and Rutherford. While this wine is just beginning to emerge from the bottle, you can already tell it is dazzling stuff and definitely a cellar candidate.14.5% Alcohol. Drink now through 2026.
Cameron Confidential: Lot 300 is sourced primarily from the alluvial fans along the eastside of Napa Valley in the districts of Oakville and Rutherford – these soils I believe make the greatest Napa Valley Cabernets (smaller amounts of the final blend hail from Stags Leap and Atlas Peak). The fruit is picked in small yellow bins before de-stemming into a forty foot long sorting table where every grape is inspected for color and structure. The choice grapes are then placed in brand new, upright oak barrels with their tops removed for fermentation and stirring. The result is perfect extraction and incredible oak integration. Lot 300 is a testament to boutique, hands-on winemaking by some of the most talented people from the best vineyards in Napa Valley.
Food Pairing: This friendly Cabernet pairs well with everything fromrack of lamb, barbecue and of course, a sirloin steak on the grill.