Produced & Bottled by Cameron Hughes Wine $19.00
ABV 13.9%
100% Santa Barbara Cabernet Sauvignon

lot-433-cab-2012Well, this was an interesting Cabernet. That is the only way I could think of to start this review, since it’s the first thing I thought when I tasted it. I would definitely call it atypical, for a Cabernet Sauvignon.

To be fair, I’ve never had a Santa Barbara Cabernet before; never having considered it a suitable place to grow Cabernet, so this was a new experience for me. FWIW, I doubt it would ever be confused with a Napa Cabernet, but the style is very “Californian Cabernet” with a twist.

The nose is fruity but also spicy, very enticing and unusual. This Cab is drinkable now. I’m not sure I’d buy it as a cellar candidate but it’s definitely something to enjoy while I’m waiting for my other Cabernet Lots to mature. I find it very lush & fruit forward; while that’s not my normal preference, the wine is spicy on the palate so it gives it an unusual (Cameron says “exotic” and I think that’s fitting here) taste to balance it a bit. It’s one of the lower ABV wines we’ve tasted in a while (most are coming in at 14-15%) so that was a nice change; no unbalanced alcohol heat.

If you’ve never tried a Santa Barbara Cabernet, and you like spice and adventure in your wine, you might find this one a good place to start. We ended up purchasing a few bottles, just to have an interesting variation; changing things up a bit.

As always, if you’ve never ordered from the Cameron Hughes website before; the coupon code “drinkup” will give you 20% off your first order + free shipping; bringing this wine down to $15.20.

While you are at the website (and have such a good coupon), have a look at Lots 545, 525, 501 and 432…these are the wines we’ve been adding to our personal stock, some are drinkable now, some need time but all are absolutely gorgeous and from prestigious AVA’s like: Coombsville, Pritchard Hill, St. Helena and Howell Mountain. Can’t recommend them highly enough.