Cameron Hughes Merlot Puisseguin-St. Émilion 2005
Notes: Dark purple wine. Voluptuous nose of dusty blackberry, raspberry fruit with hints of graphite and sour cherry. Medium full-bodied (13.5% alcohol) on the palate with blackberry and cherry wrapped in firm tannins. Decanting softens the tannins but nothing will be better than bottle age. The finish is tight at first with fine, grippy tannins but opens up with air to reveal a streak of crème de cassis. Truly a "Cellar Selection" made in the traditional bordelaise style this wine will pair beautifully in the near term with a big juicy rare steak. 80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet on 50% new French oak barrels. Cellar 8-12 years. Cameron Confidential: Often called the "Vintage of the Century", 2005 was one of the greatest vintages in Bordeaux history. The prices have run amuck and at $20/bottle this wine is an exceptional value in Bordeaux. As well, this is a wine of "renewed" provenance. Once a run-down chateau sitting on prime St. Emilion soils (Puisseguin is a sub-district of St. Emilion, not unlike Rutherford is a sub-district of Napa Valley), it was purchased by the owner of one of Bordeaux's biggest "agents" (not unlike a broker or wholesaler) and completely renovated. While in Bordeaux last year for Vin Expo I had a chance to visit the Chateau with winemaker John and was treated to the greatest steak of my life. Thrown over blazing orange wood charcoal for about 2 minutes per side it was gorgeously bloody and simply melted in your mouth. It was fantastic with freshly pulled barrel samples of the Lot 54. Production on Lot 54 was overseen by one of the hottest young winemaking consultants in Bordeaux dead set on bridging old world and new world winemaking together. I think this wine does that brilliantly. As a new chateau, the pricing is far below what you would see for similar quality. Check out pricing for other 2005 St. Emilion and the value of this wine becomes apparent.
I met one of their reps at a Costco and they were really pushing the wine hard that weekend. The guy really knew the 'business' and had detailed information on how they acquire the wine from the top wineries and regions. This Rutherford Cabernet was a steal and would by this again in a heartbeat. I hope they haven't sold out! Good structure, balanced and delicious.
Food Pairings for Cameron Hughes Merlot Puisseguin-St. Émilion
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