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I know that I mentioned that I’d like to feature affordable wines for everyone when I review wine on this blog.  I still think this post falls within that category, even though the price points are slightly higher than what I’d consider “daily drinking” prices.  My purpose for this post is to list some special occasion wines that don’t break the bank and yet drink like you had.

This weekend we were celebrating a big anniversary.  Every night, I wanted to have a nice Cabernet to go with the meals we’d chosen.  I have some nicer Napa cabs in the cellar but I wanted to try some of the “upper tier” Cameron Hughes Cabernet Lots to see if they lived up to their recent press & compared favorably to their actual vineyard counterparts (at 1/3-1/4 the cost).

So the three wines we tried, in the order that we tried them:

1. Cameron Hughes Lot 525 (Napa/Stagecoach Vineyard/Block M5/M6) 2012 $29.00
This wine wasn’t one of our intended weekend choices.  Mostly because it’s 100% Cabernet and only been in the bottle 2 months (or so).  I knew it would be too young.  But after it was ordered (on a Friday) it was shipped on that same Friday (one warning if you order from Cameron Hughes online, they do seem to ship right away so pay attention to the weather so that you don’t lose your wine to poor shipping/storage over a weekend…according to their website, they do not replace wines that have been damaged by weather during shipping) and the wine sat in Sacramento during 100F weather, over the weekend.  Since the order contained several bottles, we needed to check it to see if it was ruined in transit. Thankfully wasn’t and the wine seems fine.

So to the review…like I mentioned before, it is too young.  But it, IMO, is going to be amazing.  One of the best candidates for cellaring that I’ve tasted in ages. According to the video (on the link I attached) wines from this vineyard & these blocks go for 5x the price that Cameron Hughes charges.  I would easily believe it.

My recommendation (and what I actually did): buy some and lay it down for at least 6 months and preferably 1-2 years minimum (however, this one would easily age 2 decades if stored properly).  Don’t be in a hurry with this one.  In two years, it will begin to drink like the $150 wine it professes to be.

2. Cameron Hughes Lot 515 Monte Rosso Vineyard 2012 $32.00

This wine is not from Napa, rather its neighboring Sonoma, but don’t let that stop you.  What a beautiful wine this was.

VINTAGE: 2012
APPELLATION: Sonoma Valley 100%
GRAPE: Cabernet Sauvignon 95%, Malbec 3%, Petit Verdot 2%

This wine tastes so far above it’s price point that I couldn’t even speculate what it would sell for under it’s original label.  Another wine that could easily age for several years and yet with a decant (we used the Winebreather Carafe and decanted for over 1 hr) drinks very nicely right now.  I see that it is out of stock on the CH website but I’m told that retailers in California still stock this one (Costco etc…the CH wine finder could help you locate a local source).

The final wine we enjoyed over our holiday was:
3. Cameron Hughes Lot 432 St. Helena Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 $29.00

This is another 100% Cabernet.  Surprisingly, even for it’s young age, it’s is remarkably drinkable right now. Nice mountain minerality…a touch of the “old world style” in this Cabernet.  Supple and silky, rich and balanced…this wine was our favorite of the weekend. Probably because it was the most ready to be enjoyed right now; but the silky mouthfeel also had a lot to do with the enjoyment.  We loved it enough to order more.

And now to the best part…(and no, I get no compensation for promoting these wines, no complimentary wines for tasting etc., we just happen to really like this negociant)…I have a coupon for you if you’d like to try Cameron Hughes at an even lower price.  This coupon only works for new online customers.

After you add a wine to your cart, click on “apply coupon” and paste:  drinkup
in the box.  It will give you 20% off and free shipping.

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