Cameron Hughes Syrah Russian River Valley Lot 67 2005
Notes: Brooding aromas of stewed black fruits—blackberry, raspberry. This full-bodied beauty has all the right components of a sensuous, ripe, and powerful Syrah. Hints of mocha, nutmeg, and allspice with black currant, truffles, and a spicy, lingering finish. Meaty, muscular, and just beginning to strut its stuff. Decant an hour or two prior to serving. Cameron Confidential: I got a call one day from a winemaker friend reporting that a friend of hers, another winemaker, was having a fit about some wine she made on contract for a big wine company. Turns out she put her heart and soul into three single-vineyard designate Syrahs that the company had planned to market at $25 to $40 a bottle. As the Pinot Noir thing heated up, the company changed directions, scrapped its Syrah plans, threw all three wines into one tank, and put it all on the bulk market. Having ignored her children for some time to make the wines, she says to me, she would like the wine to end up in a good home and would I please buy it. Tasted a sample and POW! Bought it all. This stuff is very well built, with half new French oak and the balance on their 2nd and 3rd fill. The vineyards are all 1,200+ and a combo of ridge and hillside vineyards. The wines were brought in the first week of November and average together right at 15% alcohol. There are only 1,300 cases total of this—I wish I had 10,000. This will only release to California Costcos, so those of you outside of the area will want to buy online. And buy you should as this is a HELL OF A DEAL!!!!!
Editorial Reviews for Cameron Hughes Syrah Russian River Valley Lot 67
Subtle and restrained on the nose this took several hours to fully reveal itself with an integrated note of toasty oak offering good contrast to the soft plummy fruit with very light background notes of black mineral rich earth, licorice, herb and a hint of chipotle. The good core of fruit is supported by soft tannins and good acidity and the red plum fruit is gently accented with light notes of clove and mace sauteed in butter. Elegant with a hint of austerity this is restrained and polished in a classic Meritage/ Bordelaise style. Approachable today this is ideal for near term consumption. 87pts
For under $15, this wine outshines some of the best Napa Valley Syrahs at that price point. This is full-bodied, fruit forward, luscious, soft tannins. With glazed ribs this wine is a hit.
Pretty good example of a Napa Valley Bordeaux blend. Fruity but balanced. A crowd pleaser.
Pleasantly dry and spicy, with hints of chocolate on the attack. A bit too alcoholic, but this dissipates when exposed to air.
Spicy hot nose with good earthiness and black olives. Some sweetness on the attack, and the wine definitely gets better as it is allowed some air and the alcohol dissipates a bit. It may be a bit early to be drinking it right now.
Slightly hot (but dissipating) nose of chocolate and blueberry. A big, powerful, fleshy syrah. Still a tad young and tannic - but my fault for not putting this wine down for a few months first. Blame Mark - he wanted to open it. Pretty good, 3 glasses overall, but 4 for the price.
Exceptional value. Aromas of baker's chocolate, cherries, and cedar erupt from the bottle--very pronounced. Palate is dominated by dark chocolate and cherries, too. Nice spiciness on the long finish. 15.0 % alc/vol, so not a small wine, but very good for those that like them rich and bold.
Perhaps a bit on the strong side in terms of alcoholic content (or perhaps it's me a bit on the weak side in terms of alcoholic tolerance), this dry wine does nonetheless contain lots of flavor. Aeration reduces the hotness (heat?) of this wine.