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.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Cameron Hughes Lot 17 2004 Sierra Foothills Barbera. Barbera is an Italian variety, very commonly planted in Italy. This is grown in California, at 2500 feet, full of the very rich flavor of black currants, sweet berries and black tea, with sturdy tannins, and a long enjoyable finish. Clear, with a slightly purple cast to deep garnet color, because it's still a young wine. Only available through the internet sales @ $14 per bottle. Less than 300 cases left. A Great buy. Although some barberas are known as lighter body wines and in Piedmont some barberas are made in a blanc, frizzante (slightly fizzy) style, this is a full bodied, structured wine with a little more body than a pinot and just less than a Cabernet; still a big wine with over 14% alcohol.

The 'slacker comes through with his promise to share his impressions of the Stag's Leap District 2004 Cabernet, Lot 16. This is a different wine entirely from the exhuberent Lot 15. At first, you might be just a little disappointed. But, hang in there. This beautiful wine will grow on you. Let it breath a little. Swirl it in a big glass and stick your nose in there. It's slightly buttery and plummy, in the nose, with a hint of cedar. The color is a warm ruby. On the tongue you taste black currents, silky smooth tannins, unsweetened dark chocolate and sour cherries. After a long, delicious finish you may catch just a hint of herb; sage maybe? This is a fabulous wine. Big, but sophisticated and elegant.

The 'slacker takes his hat off to Mr. Hughes. May I have some more, Sir? Cameron Hughes has hit a grand slam. Lot 15, an explosive, slightly rustic juice bomb, as Parker might say; Lot 16, Dark, silky, sophisticated; Lot 17, enjoyable, accessable, a really serious alternative to the Cabernet/Zinfandel routine. All way under $20, for us joes and josephines with collars of blue to enjoy with the Republicans.

Lot 15, 4 of 5 stars possible. [see the October 19th post for review of Lot 15]
Lot 16, 4.5 of 5 stars for exceptional value and quality.
Lot 17, 4 of 5 stars possible.

You cannot go wrong with any of the three. Period. But, you could pay a lot, lot more.


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