It's a blog for winelovers. It's a blog for slackers. It's the lazy drinker's reference for cheap, high value wines. You know, the bargain wines you just don't know if you should take a chance on; maybe in the supermarket or drug store. If you want advice on grand cru, well, everyone knows where to get that: get yourself one of those slick, expensive mags. This is a blog, man; prices and spellings are the best we can do, but, don't hold us to 'em. Photos are under copyright.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Early this week the Los Angeles Times ran the following headline: "California Is Awash in Wine Bargains". Duh. Now, when there is an over-supply, the time honored tradition of supply and demand dictates that prices drop. As we have noticed, prices on premium labels have not dropped appreciably. Why is this, the 'slacker asks himself? Winemakers ain't dumb. They spent alot of time and money building a label that can command a price of $30, $40, or $100 for 750 ml of fermented grape juice. They don't want that price to be diluted by a temporary glut of wine. What to do when they are sitting on barrels of wine they can't sell? Why some bright kid comes along who'll buy it up (for real cheap), bottle it up, slap a label on it and sell it for what demand will pay. Brilliant.

Now, the bargain hunter can profit by this situation. It just requires the fortitude to taste, taste, taste. The 'slacker is up to the challenge.

As pointed out in the L.A. Times article, such a chap is Cameron Hughes. Mr. Hughes puts together some very distinguished wines, slaps on a classy, if slightly self-promoting label, adapts the clever idea of distinguishing his various cuvees with the term "Lot" and a number and sells this high quality product at the price we should be paying, considering just how much of this stuff is out there, about to be poured into the storm drains of Napa or sold for ethanol.

Cameron Hughes, Lot 15, 2003 Napa Valley Cabernet is $12.99 at Costco. Also available on the
'web. Go to for future releases. The Wineslacker is impressed. He gives Lot 15 high praise indeed. Four stars of Five for excellent quality and high value. A classic Cabernet Sauvignon, juicy, mouth filling fruit, but balanced with sturdy structure and a long interesting finish, layers of currents, blackberry and just a hint of cigar box at the end. If we had paid $30 for this wine, we'd consider it money well spent.


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