Cameron Hughes “Lot 354” 2010 Crozes-Hermitage

Appellation Crozes-Hermitage Contrôlée, northern Rhone, France; 13.5% ABV
the wiki link above says some white grapes may be blended in, but this tastes like 100% Syrah to me
$10 at the Richmond, CA, store on 1 July

CamHughesLot354_2010_CrozesHermOn the first night, I thought this wine needed a little over two hours of air to start opening, showing darker liqueur-like flavors of cherry / plum, and it continued to develop nicely after that.  After 3+ hours, it became significantly more rich, giving flavors of black cherry, dark purple plum, blackberry, a little black raisin and allspice / black pepper, and certainly the Crozes-Hermitage character that strikes me as slightly astringent dried sap.  This winds up being very ripe, rich, full-bodied, and complex, with nicely balancing zingy acid.  The only possible downside is that it doesn’t strike me as terribly Old World.  It could almost be Californian.  Otherwise, definitely Thumbs Up!

The next day, saved single-glass screw-cap bottle, needed a little over an hour in the glass to open, showing flavors slightly softer and redder than the previous day: darker boysenberry, blackberry, tangy dark cherry, a little prune, and black pepper.  While it was quite good both nights, it was more robust and aggressively complex on the first night; smoother, more elegant and perhaps slightly less complex on the second.

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17 thoughts on “Cameron Hughes “Lot 354” 2010 Crozes-Hermitage

  1. adlerpe

    They have a bunch of this at the Berkeley store today; I started hopping up and down when I saw it. To the best of my memory, this is the first time GO’s ever stocked a Syrah from one of the big-deal Northern Rhône appellations.

    Reply
    1. seedboy

      About a year and a half ago there was a small amount of Cornas that disappeared in a hurry. I got two bottles and have yet to open one. I’ve also bought St Joseph at GO a couple of times.

      Reply
      1. Darrell

        Winemaker Rhones don’t last too long at GO, never mind northern Rhones. I think that Cornas was rather young to pop at the time of purchase and if I remember correctly, a 2010.

        Reply
      2. adlerpe

        St. Josephs I’ve seen, but never a Cornas; certainly not a Hermitage or a Côte-Rôtie. I’ve just finished the first half of the bottle and have Vacu-Vinned the remainder; I’ll have to think on this one for a bit.

        Reply
        1. seedboy

          After Katrina the GO got a mess of French wine including the 1999 Guigal Hermitage blanc. For $15. I still have a couple of them and need to open one soon. I wish I had bought way more of the Burgandies they had then.

          Reply
          1. adlerpe

            Maybe that was the explanation for the wide range of Côte-d’Or Pinots and Chards they had at the Broadway store for a few months back then. I never got an explanation for why there was suddenly all this Burgundy labelled for the annual Hospice de Beaune fundraiser stacked up in the Oakland store, and none anywhere else.

            One bottle of Mersault wandered its way to Berkeley, and I cut a deal with the Broadway wine guy who was subbing for Robair that day – also $15. I should pull that bottle out, check to see whether it was from a New Orleans importer, and whether that importer is still in business. A New Orleans importer dumping inventory after Katrina, at a moment when they’d just made a big buy at the Beaune auction but no longer had safe storage for it…

            Reply
            1. seedboy

              At that time there were two different sources of unusual wines. One of them was a New Orleans source (a distributor I think). The other was a delivery truck accident, the insurance company totalled out the load and GO bought it. That is how they had, for instance, Ridge Geyserville for $13 a bottle.

        2. Delmartian1

          At one of the wine sales, perhaps 2 or 3 years ago, the Oceanside GO brought in 2001 Cornas and 2001 Cotes Du Rhone, I think for $3.99 each. Even though they were over 10 years old at the time, I gambled and picked up half a dozen of both and they are both still drinking well…too bad I’m down to 1 bottle each

          Reply
          1. adlerpe

            I’m in the same situation with the late ’90s Madirans (all from Exceptional Wines) that appeared at just about the same time. I went through about five of them during the sale week, and bought about 15 bottles of the 1997 Domaine Berthoumiu. Down to my last two 😦

            Reply
  2. Expat

    As usual, I didn’t have the patience to let this open up. I think your review is spot on. It does taste very syrah-ish and reminds me of a California wine. However, it’s like a lot European wines done in a “modern style” – they have New World qualities but still have a foot in the Old World. The result is up front fruit but with some restraint, giving them more balance than a lot of domestic wines. This has nice plum and blackberry aromas and overall complexity. I’m really enjoying it.

    Reply
    1. Delmartian1

      Picked up a bottle at the San Marcos GO this afternoon. I’m in the same boat as Expat and only let it breathe about half an hour. Found it to be pleasant but agree that there is something “new world” here. Initial reaction was that the finish had just the slightest burnt taste but either I got used to it or it disappeared. OK value but I’m not sure I’ll get any more.

      Reply
  3. permiesworld

    It’s been a long time (back in 2013 I think was when I tasted one of the two bottles I received) since I’ve had this one. I didn’t buy mine at GO. But I did note that it tasted more “new world” than old, in my notes. Interesting that you felt that way as well.

    I did note that I liked it, and felt like it was a good price. This GO price is even better than what I paid.

    Reply
    1. JoelA

      I like this wine and would buy more (it’s about 1/3 the price of other wines from this appellation) except that I’m drinking down and not stocking up in preparation for a move in the future.

      Reply
      1. permiesworld

        I’m glad you enjoyed it. I thought it might be an extraordinary good deal from GO. I’ve rarely been disappointed by his wine choices. Whenever I’m frustrated by local selections, I just order from his site. Prices are decent (especially on the Napa Cabs) and only once, in years have I felt the purchase wasn’t worth it.

        Reply

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