Value Red from Chile: Cameron Hughes Lot 95, Wine of Chile 2007 Meritage

The hardships I endure for you, dear reader. All so that you can pick your cheap wines with confidence.

As you know, Chilean wines are special to me. Mostly because they are such great values. Chile produces some of the world’s finest red wines and, at least for now, they are amazingly inexpensive. Sure, you can find a bottle from Chile for big bucks, but it will be the exception rather than the rule. Most of the wine Chile sends to us Yanquis is right in my spending sweet spot: $5-$25 a bottle. So, I buy a lot of Chilean wines. Just about the only thing with the gravitational mass to pull me from the “South America” part of any wine store or section is a bottle of Petite Sirah, no matter where it is made. So beyond my PSychopathic desire to taste every Petite Sirah ever made, my habits are largely Chileno. So it was with great pleasure that I noted that “Wine Blogging Wednesday” has chosen “Value Reds from Chile as their theme in December.

The point seems to be picking a Chilean Red and writing about it on one particular Wednesday.

The only point a Barbarian recognizes is the one at the end of his sword (or corkscrew as the case may be.) The only rules a Barbarian follows are those he makes for himself! What is good? To crush your grapes, see them driven before you into wine, and to hear the lamentation of the hangover! So I refuse to limit my writing to a single Wednesday! I plan to blog about Value Reds from Chile from now until the appointed day. My cellar is stocked and my laptop is honed and stropped to a fine razor’s edge. Let the blogging begin!

First up is this fine red blend from Chile’s Valle Central by way of Cameron Hughes Wines, and called “Lot 95”.  I chose this one first as the description on the CHwine website uses the word “raid” to describe the creation of this product. Suitable, no? What could possibly be more barbaric than raiding your way across continents and bringing back booty in the form of wine?

I received it as part of a sampler, and CH haven’t even posted the price yet, so think of this as a preview.

This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (50%), Merlot (35%), and that most Chilean of varietals, Carmenère (15%). Mrs. Barbarian is out of town so I drank this one alone. Last night I cooked up some bratwurst, sauteed broccoli (one of my specialties), and a few lightly fried corn tortillas (sounds weird, but trust me, it was awesome) and opened Lot 95 to accompany it. The Brats and Broccoli are a pretty strong flavor combo so this wine will need a backbone of steel to stand up to them. It did not disappoint! Big and bold at the start, yet smooth and strong on the finish. I managed to polish off half the bottle on my own before I sat down to finish my last review with a glass of Lot 95 to keep me company.

This morning I awoke early and the glass and bottle remained at my work desk. Fearlessly I threw caution to the wind and resumed tasting. Sure, it might be seven in the morning but what the hell, I’m a Barbarian! It had gotten a bit earthier overnight, losing some of its alcohol edge. Still uniquely Chilean in that odd mixture of New World flavor and Old World feel. Great stuff!

The hardships I endure for you, dear reader. All so that you can pick your cheap wines with confidence.


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