A couple of weeks ago we interviewed Cameron Hughes at his offices in the South Market area of San Francisco. In our post “Cameron Hughes – Man on a Wine Mission,” we promised to get back to you with a review of the wines he gave as samples and a few that Vintage Wine Taster Mike and I purchased on our own. Most of these wines can be found at various Costco stores and Safeway.
Lot 219 Monte Rosso 2009 Zinfandel – reviewed by Mike
Most Monte Rosso wines I have had in the past were so heavy and tannic that they were not fun to drink.This wine is balanced and full of fruit flavors. The wine was aged in American oak and has soft tannins and is pleasant throughout. I think this is a solid 90+ wine. The price is $14.99 but I was only able to find this wine at the Danville Costco. It is also on the Cameron Hughes Website for $15.99
Lot 302 Leyda Valley, Chile 2010 Sauvignon Blanc – reviewed by Mike
The Leyda Valley in Chile is the source of outstanding Sauvignon Blanc with vivid mineral flavors and bright acidity that makes it so easy to drink. The Lot 302 is a lighter style of this wine. Two major producers of Leyda SB are Montes and Santa Rita and both of their wines are much larger framed but cost about 50% more. At $12 this is a good buy if you want a leaner and lighter style of Chilean SB. 85 Pts.
Lot 242 Atlas Peak Napa 2009 Chardonnay – reviewed by Mike
$13 and it is well worth the money. Rich flavors with bright acidity make this wine a winner. Crisp and long on the palate with a touch of cream on the back make this a well-balanced Chardonnay. It is a great value and can be paired with a wide variety of foods. Medium bodied with 14.6% alcohol that accepts the fruit like a white burgundy can. Worth much more than the sale price if it were under another label. Chard lovers would do well to stock up. 90 Points
Lot 280 Arroyo Seco Monterey County Chardonay – reviewed by Mike
This is a low acid, moderate, fruit flavored wine which does not have the nose or finish to ask you to have another glass. 13.6% is not enhanced with fruit to carry it through. Almost tastes overcropped. A boring wine! Cost is $12. 80 Points
Lot 224 High Valley 2009 Lake County Syrah – reviewed by Mike
With a list price of $12 is a good buy. You should know that the wine has great color and a subdued nose. There is a mild oak presence and it is not tannic considering the color or extract. It could hold its own with lower priced Cote du Rhones, but does not have the pepper aroma or body of the French wines. If you want a big and full wine, pass on this one. If you want round and pleasant, this will serve you well.
Lot 252 Lake County 2009 Petite Sirah – Reviewed by Joe
Not as dark and inky as a typical Petite Sirah. The taste suddenly falls flat in the mouth, then disappears. This is lightweight compared to most Petite Sirahs. 84 Pts.
Lot 228 Clear Lake 2010 Sauvignon Blanc - Reviewed by Joe
Not as good as the Brassfield or Shannon Ridge that sell for about the same price or less. $11. The character of this wine is rather limited. 85 Pts.
Lot 275 2010 Reserva Malbec Mendoza – Reviewed by Joe
This was a delicious wine and very much my favorite of all the C.H. wines I’ve tasted in the past couple of weeks. This is a very nicely structured Malbec that lingers in the mouth. I would certainly buy this wine again; it delivers a great deal at $15. 89 Points
Lot 230 2009 Chalk Hill Cabernet Sauvignon
Lot 248 2009 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – Reviewed by Joe
We tasted these two Cabernets side by side and we found the Alexander Cabernet more to our liking. We thought the Chalk Hill was a little thin in character. For $13 the Alexander Valley Cab is a great deal. It is a nice tasting and pleasing wine with tannins in check. If you are looking for a decent tasting Cabernet at a bargain price, this wine certainly qualifies. 87 Points for the Alexander and 85 Points for the Chalk Hill.