Dark black core with kiss of magenta at the rim. The youthful aromatics open up with dusty loam and blackberry fruit that give way to a very compelling and very pure blueberry essence. Hints of plum and rose petal shimmer in the background. The purity of expression at this stage is very exciting (the wine was bottled in late August 2013, so it’s just now emerging from bottle shock). Silky smooth, delivering highly polished textures across the palate, with bands of black currant and plum swirling about a densely packed mid-palate. Excellent length and depth, but the ultimate expression here is one of silky complexity, beautiful proportion, and balanced elegance. Classy juice.
Blackberry, Currant, Plum
Appellation: Napa Valley 100%
Grape: Cabernet Sauvignon 85%, Petit Verdot 8%, Merlot 4%, Cabernet Franc 3%
Alcohol by volume: 13.9%
Production: 3000 Cases
Drink/Hold: Now through 2026
In the tradition of sourcing Lots 200, 300, and 400 from some of the finest producers in Napa, Lot 500 comes from one of the best vineyards Napa has to offer. Located in the heart of Oakville, this is a tremendous estate that holds the honor of producing one the first Napa Valley wines to be awarded 100 points, and continues to make some of the best Cabernet you can find anywhere. The vineyard was replanted in the late 90s, and has been producing 94 to 98-point Cabs in the $150/bottle range since the mid 2000s. Naturally, they are very protective about their appellation, and insisted on us selling the wine with only Napa Valley as the label designation.
Fennel-Orange Crusted Leg of Lamb with Pine Nut Gremolata
Cost Per Serving: $12
1 Leg of Lamb (4+lbs) 3+ Tbsp Salt 1+ Tbsp Pepper 2 Oranges, zested 3 Tbsp Fennel Seeds, lightly ground 1 Cup Pine Nuts 1 Cup Parsley, chopped Olive Oil
Potatoes: 5 Red Potatoes, quartered 2 Tbsp Olive Oil 2 Tsp Salt 1/2 Cup Parsley, chopped
Pre-heat oven to 375*
Season Lamb generously with fennel seeds, salt, pepper and orange zest a day before roasting. Pull out of the fridge 2 hours before placing it into the oven. On a sheet pan, lightly oil the lamb and place it into the oven for 30 minutes. Flip over and continue roasting. Flip once more at 15 minutes to brown all sides of the leg. Roast until internal Temperature is around 130*. Pull out of the oven and let rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.
For the gremolata, lightly toast pine nuts in a pan being careful to not let them burn. Combine with orange zest, parsley, salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve on top of lamb.
For the Potatoes, generously coat potatoes in olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 375-400 degrees for 30-45 minutes until golden brown. Toss with fresh parsley for color.
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The holidays are the perfect time to share a favorite wine with friends and family. Wine has become as much an important part of social gatherings as the decor, the holiday menu and the guest list. But over the past decade or so, wine has moved into our daily lives as well — not just as the party guest. Whether it’s a glass of wine with dinner, with neighborhood friends at the monthly Bunco game or even at the tailgate party before the big game, wine has become a part of our culture. But many of us don’t have the knowledge — or the budget — to truly enjoy fine wines, so we make do with the selection at the grocery store and take a gamble with wines that are priced right for the occasion. That’s why you need to get acquainted with Cameron Hughes wine.
Cameron Hughes wine founder Cameron Hughes talks the business of wine on Fox Market Business News with anchors Adam Shapiro and Cheryl Casone. Discussion includes talk about the wine industry, over and under supply issues, and how Cameron has been able to develop his company over the last ten years.
San Francisco-based negoçiant Cameron Hughes tells SND his company has big plans for 2014, including the launch of a new brand line, the Cameron Hughes Collection, which will sit outside the group’s core Lot Series. While the Lot Series is focused on one-off wines that disappear from the market once they run out of stock, the Cameron Hughes Collection will be continuously available.
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Opened our first bottle last night and after decanting for 1 hour and running it through our Vinturi we each had a glass. The smoothness I loved in Lot 400 was there, as well as the fruit...just very little oak and length on the tongue. Improved a bit more with our second glass while enjoying some dark chocolate. If you have several bottles, enjoy one now...the water is warm. This will save you from the agony of looking at the bottle in the cellar, imagining the possibilities. I'm going to preemptively give this 5 stars, because I'm thinking that in about a year I'm going to enjoy this more than lot 400.
Posted by:matt Justin On: 12/31/13
Needs more time in bottle
I absolutely love lot 400 and bought a case of 500 but it appears to be a little young and not coming around yet.
It does open up after a hour but still its missing that bold cab oak taste .
Ill put mine away and keep for a year then try again
Posted by:Stacy On: 12/13/13
Is Lot 500 the Best X00 Yet? We Think So!
There's nothing oh-oh! about this wine! But let's put this into context. Our first CH Wine was Lot 29; a Lake County Meritage; then Lots 34-35 Cabs (all long gone). Since 2007 we've been loyal Cameron Hughes customers, even though a part interest in a wine shop got us industry discounts on our other cellar-brations.
Normally we cellar most reds at least 1-3 years before opening them. Occasionally we open a new and especially interesting one soon after it recovers from bottle-shock, and before limited quantities disappear. We did so with Lot 500.
Echoing the WOW of other reviewers, we tend to very much like all the Cab-based wines CH Wine produces, but this, although early in its life, does promise to be one of the best--difficult because we are still hoarding Lots 300 and 400.
We like to open a wine and sip it as we prepare dinner, to see how it evolves with air exposure. Then we track the trajectory through dinner. We try to save a little on a cruvinet (Nitrogen) for tasting the next night. When there was none left after last nite, that is a telling sign of how much we liked the wine.
Lot 500 started out a bit sweet, with enough stuffing to stand up to tastes at the stove. It was a perfect match to our steak--and our chocolate for dessert. CH Wines tend not to be Howell Mountain (for example) monsters we tasted and enjoyed in the old days of Napa Valley. Instead, they have a softer, more gentle and sophisticated 'round the mouth appeal. I think this one is the best yet.
Would we recommend this wine? Definitely, if this is within your price range. We cannot wait for our next bottle, probably six months from now; that is the way we track the ones we do open while they are still babes in the cellar. Buy it before everyone else discovers Lot 500!
Posted by:Victor On: 12/13/13
Just a Baby, but Will be a Killer Wine
Still a baby, ergo a bit tight right out of the bottle. But it really opens up with an hour or so decant (or Cam's famous 24 hour method).
This is a very smooth, fruity - but not overly so, elegant wine. Well integrated tannins.
Will have a few bottles now, but most of it will go in the cellar for a bit. It will be a much better wine in 6 mos or a year.
Grab a couple cases before it's all gone.
Posted by:Earstin On: 12/12/13
Needs a lot more aging
Bought a case and opened one bottle to share with my bride. bottom line. it needs aging. I'll put the remainder in my wine chiller for a few years ( 4 or 5) and it should be the best.
Posted by:jeff On: 12/7/13
I have purchased a dozen or more Cameron Hughes wines. Most are good, some are great, the 500 is amazing, truly amazing.
This wine reminds me of the Wellman wine at twice the price. It is super smooth and has a perfect body and finish.
WOW, I wish I ordered 3 cases.
Posted by:Rin On: 11/29/13
After decanting and breathing for an hour, this young wine released strong alcohol (13.9%) on the nose. The first taste yielded cassis, then dark cherries followed by chocolate and coffee after resting in the glass. Needs couple years aging in the bottle and will be one of, if not the best cab you have bottled.
Posted by:Chris On: 11/21/13
Loved lot 300, loved lot 400 but lot 500 is definitely the winner!
Posted by:Scot On: 11/12/13
Going to be Fantastic
There is not a thing wrong with Lot 500. I will say that it is still very young and it has a ways to go. It is not big or overpowering but tons of spice and the taste is already out of this world. I strongly recommend waiting for at least 6 months before you open this to allow for further development in the bottle. All the makings are there for one of the besh CH wines ever, if not the best. It is drinkable now however, how it tastes today and how it will taste in 6 months, I believe will be drastically different. I wanted to try it early so I could compare. I look forward to the transformation of what I believe might be the best CH wine ever! Congratulations Cameron and the team.
Posted by:Shaun Vaka On: 10/29/13
True Napa Grand Cru with Cameron Hughes finishing touch!