Cameron Hughes Lot 70, Lodi Petite Sirah

(Apologies for the horrible photo, I’m just not very good with a camera! Not to worry though all Cameron Hughes Wines look the same and I have another one queued up to review soon… I’ll get a better shot… promise!)

Not only am I a Barbarian, I’m also a man. Being a man means I have retail aversion. I don’t like to shop. I’d rather sit in the car and stare at my Blackberry or listen to the radio than voluntarily go into a retail establishment.

So Mrs. Barbarian’s eyebrows nearly flew off her head when I suggested that I accompany her into our local Costco.

I honestly had no interest in anything I might find within, except some Cameron Hughes Wine. Well, OK I lied… when I saw that you could buy a 55 gallon drum of motor oil I thought that might come in handy out in the garage. I have no way to get it TO my garage however, so my focus returned to wine. I heard Cameron Hughes on the radio and I was intrigued by the concept: He buys oddball bits of wine… stuff being sold due to divorce, leftover varietal lots from blends, etc, and packages it under his own label. He gives no indication where it came from, other than region and vintage. I heard him tell stories of finding amazing stuff, that would normally be sold for $40-$200 a bottle available from him, under a cloak of anonymity, for around $20. This is a man after my own heart!

The allure of big-buck wine at a 70% discount was enough to drive me into a big box retailer. While Mrs. Barbarian rolled off with her Hummer-sized shopping cart I made my way to the wine section, by way of the drums of 10W-40. I found the object of my desire, a treasure trove of Mr. Hughes’ masked wine bargains. I snapped up a mixed case and snickered all the way home. After tasting a few, and reading the labels I realized I could save myself the retail trauma and just order them online! Heaven.

These wines do indeed deliver on their promise. They are wines that I’d normally drink on somebody else’s tab, but here they are all available for between ten and twenty bucks. Gotta love that! Look for many more reviews of Cameron Hughes Wines here in the future but I’ll start right where you would expect me to… the beginning. No, not “Lot 1” – that was the beginning for Cameron. The first wine I ever touched, bought, and drank from this label was of course a Petit Sirah. Called Lot 70, this Petite hails from Lodi, the Lubbock of California. (Lubbock of course is the Fresno of Texas, but I digress) and costs a mere $11.

Lot 70 is still a bit young, and tasted to me like it needed some more R&R in the bottle. I’ve stashed the rest of what I originally bought down in the cellar and eagerly await the passage of time so that I can drink it all. It did however show a great deal of promise. Big and bold like a Petite Sirah should be. Stay tuned for more CH wine reviews.

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