New customers are sometimes confused when they find out that a Lot wine is sold out “forever,” and not just awaiting the next vintage. Barring the rare occasion where we are able to source from the same winery again, the chances of finding that Lot wine you loved become slim unless you know a friend with a cellar that stocked up and is willing to sell you some of their stash. As Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth famously stated, “What’s done, is done.” For those who are interested in what we do and how we do it, we recommend looking over all the information we have available here.
Now, it may seem harsh to say that once the wine is gone, it’s gone, but that is the way of all wines and wineries. We as consumers have become accustomed to retail-friendly wines and their abundance of stock. If your local store is out of 19 Crimes, for example, it’s easy for them to say they have more on the way. It may look the same upon arrival, and may even be produced from the same grape, but it may be a totally different vintage. That is the part that gets lost in the retail perception. While the bigger labels look to breed consistency year to year, the truth is that between vintages, 2015 and 2016 were totally different when all is said and done. At Cameron Hughes Wine, we pull that “retail-friendly” look back and show you, honestly, how it all works from the view of a négociant (wine trader). We label in a sequence of numbers, chronologically based on when we acquire the wines (and, yes, there was a Lot 1 – a 2002 Syrah!).
That said, we do not release them in order. Some wines only need a few weeks to settle down from bottle shock after bottling, while others will need months or sometimes over a year to come into their own with a bit of bottle aging. Youthful rosés and whites like Moscato d’Asti need to be consumed in their youth, so those Lots will release sooner than adjacent Lot numbers that may be a Pinot Noir that needs 6 months of bottle aging, or a Napa Cab that can take up to 18 months in bottle aging.
Now, if you read through the portion of our about page that speaks about our contracts and how we can’t tell you who we are sourcing from, one thing (depending on the contract obligations) we try to always inform you of is whether a wine comes from a producer we’ve sourced from before. Hypothetically speaking, Lot 720 might state that it is from the same producer as Lot 348. It’s always good to read Cam’s notes for each wine that you’re interested in, as there is a wealth of info there, and you can always call us at 1 (800) 855-1971 M-F, 9-5 PT if you have any questions about our wines.
Sign up for our insider list to be the first to know about each limited new release wine as soon as it goes live at chwine.com. A number of our releases are only available in very limited quantities – for example, Lot 626 Napa Cab Franc was a 70-case Lot that sold out in less than 3 hours after the email announcement was sent. The mindful readers who were on top of their inboxes made out like bandits on that wine. Some of us at the office are a wee-bit jealous, as we don’t have any left for happy hours…anyway, we digress.
By being a digital winery, and subsequently having a digital tasting room, it’s virtually impossible to taste our wines in the traditional settings. Now this is where things get fun (with a little creativity). Our personal suggestions are buying a sampler pack of 6 bottles (Try “My First Time”). Invite a few friends over, open them up and get down with those who you love. For a price less than what you’d spend traveling and tasting for a group in wine country, you can savor the experience in your own home alongside the people whose company you enjoy the most. Keep in mind the wines are delivered to your door (or office) – super convenient.
If you find yourself a fan of the Lot series and are generally hard pressed to make a decision, we’ve got you covered. Our wine club subscription is super convenient, and somewhat flexible. You can choose monthly or quarterly curated shipments of all whites, all reds, or a mix of both.
And finally, the last area of note that we currently offer is the Friends of Cam program. Here, you will find wines from exceptional producers for sale under their original labels at the best prices out there. Currently (as of this posting), you can get a high end Châteauneuf-du-Pape for under $40 a bottle, or a non-vintage Brut Rosé Champagne from France for around the same price. Essentially, these are the best prices you can find on rare imports that you could pay up to six times the price in a restaurant (and we have the best prices over other online retailers, too).
We hope you enjoy your wine journey with us as much as we enjoy finding new wines for you.
Cheers, and here’s to drinking better at home!