Winery: Cameron Hughes Wine, Geyserville, California
Packaging: 750 ml bottle, natural cork
Our Rating: 9.0 out of 10
Cameron Hughes Lot 250 Meritage 2009 is a big, tasty red wine! It is fruity up front, with cherry and blueberry flavors, but maintains some complexity as it eases into a long, peppery finish with chewy tannins. If there's a flaw, it's that the nose is surprisingly minimal. It's a Meritage, which means it's a red blend that must adhere to a set of specifications.
There's a backstory to this wine. According to the Cameron Hughes website, "Lot 250 comes to us from one of Napa’s premiere Cabernet producers with prices in the $50 to $200/bottle range. Like Lot 150, Lot 250 is born of an oversupply. For 150 it was mostly 2005 and 2006 barrel aged reds but for Lot 250 it’s all Napa County components from one one of Napa’s most revered wineries and the bountiful 2009 Harvest."
I'm normally a little skeptical of such claims, but Lot 250 makes them believable. With its fruit-forward character and higher than usual alcohol content, it seems rather like a big Zinfandel. The winery doesn't actually say what grapes went into this Meritage, though no Zin grapes were used. Meritage, by definition, must be a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot and/or Carmenère. My rating is no doubt biased by my preference for this style of wine. If you aren't a Zin person, you probably won't like this Meritage as well as I did.
For eight bucks at Sam's Club, though, this is a great deal. I'm planning on heading back to the store to pick up a few more bottles. These are one-shot wines. From what I can tell, they won't be offered again, so if you find one you enjoy, stock up immediately. For me, at least, Cameron Hughes Lot 250 Meritage 2009 is a very affordable winner.