I had a great afternoon on Sunday as I met with Eric Guido and Dave Treiger in the Snooth conference room to try a line-up from Cameron Hughes. I was really interested int these wines and glad I ended up popping them on Sunday since I was fortunate to have the time on Monday to go through them again and as well as they showed on Sunday they were singing by Monday night.
Just briefly the line-up included;
The Fruit Bomb Campo de Borja that was ok but I can see it being a crowd pleaser
The tough, austere Tempranillo that exploded in the glass by day 2
The effusively good old vine zin that everyone liked, and I do mean everyone
The easy going, soft and plummy Meritage that stayed the course over 2 days
The classic Napa Cabernet, rugged yet polished with excellent cellaring potential, a killer value!
We then went out for a great dinner and met up with Dave's friend Alan and Ben Goldberg for a fine repast including Tuscan delights!
We began with a pair from Chianti, the 1990 Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico and the San Giusto a Rentennano Chainti Classcio Riserva.
The Riserva was a finer wine, fleshier and rounder though the Badia a Coltibuono was just so ready, so transparent and peaking that I found it irresistible. I have a soft spot for catching wines at their peak and it was an itch that this bottle scratched!
We followed these up with a pair of Brunello;
The Col d'Orcia was beautiful, almost fully resolved with remarkable freshness and detail, a bottle I could spend all day with. The La Torre on the other hand had just entered it's drinking window and should ultimately prove to be a better bottle than the Col d'Orcia, in some 10 years or so. Perfectly rich and ripe with great balance and structure it was a delight to try.
We ended the reds with a pair of youngsters, both still in the flush of youth.
Both still benefited from the ample baby fat of youthful fruit, The Nando was a rich, oaky, fruit filled Chianti destined for early consumption while the Barbi offered good depth in a difficult vintage with just a touch of the tough tannins that so many wines of the vintage carry.
Finally with a nice array of dessert we shared a bottle of Vin Santo
It was a gorgeous wine, rich yet balanced, complex yet fresh, absolutely smashingly good and much better than my last bottle. The finish was both lingering and ethereal. Hauntingly good stuff and worth the admittedly high tariff.
And that was it, the end to another Snooth dinner. Intimate and friendly, joining friends new and old. I enjoyed the wines, the discussions and he chance to spend some time with fellow Snooth members.
Until the next time
The start with Cameron Hughes and the end with Vin Santo
- Reply by Eric Guido, Nov 11, 2008.
Great write ups greg. All really informative and loved your perspectives on these.
Really glad you enjoyed the brunello I brought. I have a couple more in the cellar and plan on waiting for quite a while before opening the next one. The brunello you brought really blew me away. And you know how we all felt about the Vin Santo.
I will absolutely buy that Zinfandel from Cameron Hughes and probably the cabernet as well. I have to check out the website.
- Reply by vigna uva vino, Nov 12, 2008.
Are the Cameron Hughes available by the case yet? Buy directly from CH website? I have my heart set on 6 Zinfandel and 6 Tempranillo. Thanks again!
- Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Nov 13, 2008.
We actually got a pre-release look at those wines. An email will be out soon regarding the wines we tried. It'll be a few weeks yet before we can buy them individually but a great deal is on it's way to your mailbox!