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Cameron Hughes wine

anyone have experience with CHW? i just ordered a couple of bottles, curious if anyone has tried it and liked his lots so far.

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  1. You can ask him yourself on "another network." He is a participant on Mark Squires' BB. Everything I've heard is that the wines are very good, but I cannot speak from personal experience.

    1. I've had the Edna Valley chardonnay and it tasted "hot" i.e. high alcohol and although I like unoaked chards, the balance was off and there was a lingering bitternes/iron taste.

      Also, have a few bottles of one of the cabernets (sorry, I don't recall which one). Shows promise, but it's way too young now to enjoy and needs some cellar time to mellow.

      1. I've been told that he bottles juice from 'better' wineries under his own label, but I haven't heard any specifics or if it results in especially great values. I've been told that his wines are sold at Costco and sell out quickly, but I must miss them 'cause I've never noticed any. That whole 'juice from better wineries' thing can be difficult to figure out because the 'better wineries' aren't about to let anyone know if it's true. Seems like the consumer must take this on faith. Any comments?

        2 Replies
        1. re: Midlife

          It's solely based on "faith" and so far I haven't been wowed by anything I've tased. But, for the price point, it seems to be a decent value.

          His marketing angle is nothing new; Trader Joe's has been doing the same thing for a while. Being an optimist/romantic, I want to believe that he does in fact source high quality grapes from skilled producers, but he's also a business man and bottom line is generating revenue from a surplus of grapes.

          As a side note, I've also had wines (cabernet) from Waterstone which follows the same concept and those are delicious.

          1. re: Midlife

            I've had good luck with CH stuff. We haven't been as impressed with the Chardonnays as we have been with the various reds he's put out in the last year and a bit. As noted here, most of them are simply too young right now but do show promise. At $12 or so a bottle, they're a good value and I have high hopes for how well they'll age. Its definitely worth getting a few and cracking into a couple to see if you think you like where they're likely headed.

          2. curious, what triggered your placement of an order?

            2 Replies
            1. re: ibstatguy

              someone suggested it to me and i found a 50% off shipping code. Doesn't hurt to try it, if its even half as good as the owner suggests it to be i figured it'd be worth the money.

              1. re: clayfu

                well make sure you report back after you try some!

            2. Loved their Syrah which I purchased at Costco. Went back for some more, but was sold out. Their website will announce future distributions and in what areas, (Nocal, Socal, etc)

              http://www.chwine.com/

              1. I just had my first experience with three of his wines (http://tinyurl.com/2m5lgx) and I was really impressed. Had the Sauvignon Blanc, the Meritage, and the Carneros sparkler. They tasted like wines that cost 2x the retail price. They weren't "mushy" like so many negociant wines can be here in the US, but really retained distinctive flavor profiles. Sign up for their email newsletter, so you can get your hands on wine when they're released because they sell out FAST.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Dr. Debs

                  ah i bought all of those, i just haven't had the opportunity to drink it yet.

                2. Cameron Hughes is the current selection from the site Rad Cru:
                  http://radcru.com/
                  It seems like a good deal, especially if you buy the six bottles and get the free shipping.

                  Off Topic: I've been following Rad Cru's offerings for a while, but haven't yet ordered anything. If anyone has, I'd be curious to know if it was a worthwhile experience.

                  1. In case anyone is interested, I just got back from the Alhambra Costco - they have three releases - Lot 26 Meritage, Lot 29 sauvignon blanc and Lot 34 cabernet, $11.95 for the cab, $8.99 for the sauvignon, and they only had about a case or two of the meritage with no price showing. There was plenty of the other two; I bought a bottle of the sauvignon to try.

                    10 Replies
                    1. re: monkuboy

                      That's where I scored mine--the Lot 29 Meritage Bordeaux-Style blend from Lake County is already sold out at the winery, so I went to Alhambra Costco to see if it was still in stock and picked up 3. Let us know what you think of the SB. I thought it was pretty good, as link above shows. I think his reds need to be decanted or aged for a bit--remember, some of the grapes go into those monster reds from Napa, so treat them as such, not like a quaffer.

                      1. re: Dr. Debs

                        Had the SB tonight - well worth purchasing. Obviously a sauvignon blanc, with a grassy but not overbearing character. Clean, crisp, juicy acidity and lots of concentrated grapefruit and wet stones. Nice aromas, too. I went back to the Alhambra Costco today to get the lot 29 but they were all gone.. still a good quantity of lots 26 and 34, though. This lot 26 sauvignon blanc is a good one.

                        1. re: monkuboy

                          Glad you liked it. Worth getting a half case of it to last the whole summer. And they're selling Kim Crawford a few pallets down for $13.99. This is $8.99. A steal.

                          1. re: Dr. Debs

                            There's still plenty of it at the Alhambra Costco, along with the lot 34 cabernet. Have you tried the cab? I'm the only wine drinker in the house so I actually tried the sb daily over 5 days, using a vacu-vin. It was just as fresh and good on the 5th day (just a touch softer/fruitier) as it was on the 1st. The vacu-vin seems to work pretty well for me.

                            1. re: monkuboy

                              I really loved lot 29 that I picked up from my Costco. When I went back to get some more there were only 6 bottles remaining. Expecting lot 34 to sell out just as quickly, I went ahead and purchased a case of 12 without trying it out. The bottles were just shipped from California so the Cameron Hughes representative at our Costco recommended I let the bottles sit for a week and settle before uncorking. In the meantime I've run across two bad reviews of lot 34 that have me worried now.

                              Has anyone else tried out lot 34 yet and what did you think? I'll be opening one this weekend...

                              1. re: agheno

                                boring wine, un-expressive. I bought half a case of the 34 and half a case of the 35 at the tustin costco.

                                returned 5 of each. heh. The lake county meritage is pretty tasty for 11$. I think i just have to not think these wines are worth more than 11+$ and just drink them as they are. Just under his advertising i expect 25$+ quality which unfortunately the cabs are not.

                                1. re: clayfu

                                  I guess CH has been getting some unfavorable reviews on the newest cab lots because he just sent out an e-letter talking about bottle shock and the effect it has on his wines. Basically he said they're on a roller coaster right now, one day open next day closed, etc., so to bear with it and after a few months when they settle down, they'll be great. I don't have any of the cabs myself; I thought I'd just pass this along.

                                  1. re: monkuboy

                                    yeah i got the email. Tis a load of crap, i met him in tustin and someone asked him specifically about bottleshock for the cabs and he said no worries -_^

                                    1. re: clayfu

                                      I suspect he is first and foremost a salesman but I have to hand it to him, he has a good idea and seems to have done very well. For the money it seems the wines are pretty decent, too. But it's all about the marketing..

                                      1. re: monkuboy

                                        yeah he does a good job marketing.
                                        He's smart to say "these grapes go into a 40$ wine!" and then when you drink it, you think to yourself "i highly doubt it, but you know... its not too bad for a 11$ wine".

                                        and bam hooked.