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I realize it’s not over, but I’m pretty much done buying for the rest of the year (can we say “a lot of back stock to get through” LOL)! So I was sitting here thinking “What wines have really made an impression on me this year? I’ve been through so many…” Several came to the forefront so I thought I’d make a list. Every wine on this list is still in my cellar, because we felt it was worth stocking up.

Fly By Proprietary Red Blend Napa Valley 2012 $19.98
I originally got this wine from Lot18. By the time I’d tasted it, they’d sold out. The only place on the web that still has it is BestWinesOnline in San Diego. I actually can’t believe it’s still in stock. My only thought is that people aren’t aware of how good it really is. This one has a velvety mouthfeel. It’s 50% Cabernet from Oak Knoll and 50% Merlot from Calistoga. We bought a couple of cases of this one. I think it will drink well for the next several years, although it’s quite drinkable now.

Tikal Natural Organic Malbec $14 (Costco)
I like Malbec. This is a non-traditional Malbec but it was so incredibly tasty. Not as cellar-able as my other choices.

Echelon Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2010 ($5.99 Grocery Outlet)
I’ve had several Pinot Noir wines this year. Many quite excellent and worth mentioning. This was my favorite (and at the price, an unbelievable bargain).

and now the reason I’m currently on a buying moratorium (we’ve just stocked our cellar full)…and my favorite wines of the year:

Cameron Hughes Lot 525 Cabernet Sauvignon $29 Stagecoach Vineyard Block M5/M6 Pritchard Hill $29.
This wine, there are just no words for how much I love it…and how much future potential I think it has. I bought a lot because I believe it’s truly a cellar candidate. (Lots of things in our cellar will go for the holiday season…this one was purchased to enjoy for the next several years.) It is far and away my favorite wine CH has ever offered and my “Best Wine of 2014” award. I’ve had $150 bottles that don’t show as well as this one.

Cameron Hughes Lot 385 $28 Stags Leap Cabernet Sauvignon
My “1st Runner up” wine. This wine is of “unknown” origin. Cameron Hughes bought the entire lot as an “inaugural release from a new winery on the Silverado Trail.” At that time, the only new winery in that area, TMK, was Odette. That’s just a guess on my part though.  In any case, they did not want their first vintage to be the 2011, so they sold the whole lot to Cameron Hughes. And it is fantastic. Completely age worthy. We bought a lot.

Other CH Lots that we stocked up on

Cameron Hughes Lot 432 Cabernet Sauvignon $29 St. Helena.
Cameron Hughes Lot 501 Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon $30 (another extremely age worthy candidate IMO)

So there you have it. Obviously I lean towards red wine. I’ve had an enjoyable year, tasting and choosing favorites but these are memory wines.

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