Four new offerings from the well-known, recently-revived negociant Cameron Hughes.
2018 Cameron Hughes Lot 718 Chardonnay Russian River Valley – This chardonnay is redolent with notes of melon and guava, an exotic mix of sweet and savory that rolls across the tongue like a conga line, and there’s a seaweed/saline note on the finish that keeps things interesting. I didn’t much like this served with a meal, but on its own the more curious components found their footing. B+ / $18
2018 Cameron Hughes Lot 676 White Blend Santa Barbara County – This is Rhone-style blend of 49% roussane [sic], 27% viognier, and 24% marsanne. It hits the palate with an unexpected character that blends pineapple, melon, and peach notes into a fruity froth, then tempers the somewhat buttery attack with a squeeze of lemon peel and a grind of white pepper. The finish is heavy with apricots and a mild astringency, all of which adds delightful complexity. Screaming value. A- / $14
2018 Cameron Hughes Lot 725 Zinfandel Russian River Valley – A rich, almost iconic zinfandel, bold with notes of boxed chocolates and blackcurrants, with a bold blackberry component too. Expressive and rich, like any Russian River zin is expected to be, the wine feels like dessert, yet pairs just fine with a rich dinner. A- / $17
2016 Cameron Hughes Lot 625 Cabernet Sauvignon Yountville – A surprisingly mature release from Hughes, this wine has a surprising doughiness to it, though that fades into a somewhat meaty, almost smoky character as it builds in the glass. The fruit here is restrained as a more leathery character becomes dominant, fading into a rougher raisin character on the finish. I tried to give this wine a lot of room to breathe and evolve, but it never got beyond baby steps. B- / $24