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Cameron Hughes / Lot 250
Napa Valley Meritage 2009

When deciding what would be my first wine review of 2012, I thought about what many of us are thinking about this time of year: (no, not a weight loss resolution – that would mean limiting wine consumption and I won’t go there! LoL!) but our pocketbooks. Money; Moola; the all mighty dollar. How we spent too much on the holidays and we are “buckling down” on expenditures that are unnecessary. That’s where these guys come in. One of my long time favorite producers of the real meaning behind “cheap wine that’s good” – Cameron Hughes (aka CH Wines). CH Wines are not new, they’ve been around for sometime now and for those of us that live in California, we see them frequently in Costco Stores; Sam’s Club and many other smaller retailers.

For those of you less familiar with CH Wines – A quick synopsis: They partner with top-tier wineries, around the world, buying and contracting their ultra-premium wine to sell at very affordable prices. They sometimes sell “shiners” and often buy bulk juice, which they may bottle as is or blend to make it their own. Either way it’s usually an incredible value, to say the least.
You will find them under several name brands: CH Lot Series, CH California, Hughes-Wellman, The Flying Winemaker, Zin Your Face, and Frunza. You will also find my reviews on CH Wines are most often the CH Lot series and CH California and ONLY the CA produced wines for that is what I prefer to drink and write about.

Being a former Napa resident, I have had my share of ultra-premium produced wines. Let’s just say one can make a dent in 450+ wineries when they are in your backyard! With that said, I can really appreciate CH Lot 250 for simply what it is: Really Good Wine. This lot is a Meritage – Cabernet Sauvignon; Merlot; Cab Franc and Malbec blend. The wine has a nose of vanilla and plum, with some black cherry on the finish. This wine is a “fruit bomb”, with great fruit, acid, and a “soldier ” structure. The wine represents Napa and what it is all about. (and it’s not all about Cabernet) This is a wine that many will like and you can feel comfortable and confidant serving it to anyone at any level of wine drinking.

I give this wine “FOUR BOTTLES” on the wine bottle rating scale. It’s “everyday” wine with “special weekend” taste! It’s the perfect fit at the first of the year when we need a everyday “go to” without going to the bank. My taste buds & pocketbook are not always simpatico. CH Lot 250 has my tastebuds very happy & my pocketbook none the wiser!

I found CH Lot 250 at my local Costco in Nor Cal for around $8.99- it is also available at http://www.chwine.com for their online price.   Cheers!