Cameron Hughes “Lot 373” 2011 Meritage

IGP Pays D’Oc, France
63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 18% Malbec; 13.5% ABV
$7 at the Richmond, CA, store on 1 July

CamHughes_2011_MeritagePaysDOcThis is one of those rare wines for which I advise, “Pop and pour!”  I decanted it and tasted it after 30 minutses, when it showed delicious ripe fruit of dark red / purple cherry, blackberry / mulberry, dark earth, and at times only a hint of green bell pepper.  This wine, although made from traditional Bordeaux grape varietals, is apparently not from Bordeaux on the Atlantic coast, but from the Languedoc on the Mediterranean coast.  I’d say that, even though this wine is French, much like the Cameron Hughes Crozes-Hermitage that arrived at the same time, it tastes very Californian.  Unfortunately, over a couple hours, the flavors simplified, becoming more red, including red cherry / ripe red currant,  showing stronger sweet vanilla, with the green bell pepper completely vanishing.  This wine would be a good candidate, not only for not airing, but also for not decanting.  I guess I have to go with Drinkable, although this would be a great wine for parties, dinner or otherwise, where it will be appreciated right after opening and consumed quickly.

The next day, the second half (stored in a 375ml screw-cap bottle with very little air) was more durable.  redder fruit, still ripe and jammy, spiced earth, still yummy and modestly complex.

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6 thoughts on “Cameron Hughes “Lot 373” 2011 Meritage

  1. permiesworld

    We had this tonight. I really liked it (I remembered liking it before and thankfully still do). To me, it’s not European (IMO…too heavy a body for that) and it’s not CA style (not uber fruity or high alcoholic or sweet). It’s dry and layered (we did taste olive and cacao as well as blueberries) but not uber complex either. It’s just good. Easy drinking and one of the better offerings we’ve seen around here.

    Reply
  2. lim13

    It appears (from a GO email that I received today 7/20/15) that this wine is now available in Silverdale. And just curious, BW…in your description you said “I guess I have to go with Drinkable…”, but you ended up rating it Thumbs Up. So is it a little of both? And BTW, Darrell…I too find it ironic (as well as ridiculous) that Hughes would label a French wine as Meritage (even though it’s perfectly legal). Something to further confuse the majority of the wine drinking public. I already have a problem with those who always feel the need to pronounce the word as if it’s French i.e. Mer-i-tajh’ instead of Meritage, like heritage…the correct pronounciation.

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi LIm13. Thanks for catching that. After the wine’s performance on the first night, I was going to rate it Drinkable. But since, to my surprise, it actually held up reasonably well the next day, I thought that might be enough to push it up to Thumbs Up. And then I thought, “Well, it would be really good in a ‘pop and pour for a bunch of people’ situation…” and I forgot to go back and make the first-night notes consistent. So, that’s what happened. Does anyone who’s tried it have an opinion about which category they’d put it in, or just how well they liked it?

      And on the latter subject, the CH web site notes for this wine say it tastes like a Cabernet from the Central Coast, CA.

      Reply
  3. Darrell

    I find it ironic an American term and invention, Meritage, being used on a French product. I guess the term is international now. Soon we’ll be having Lebanese and Chinese Meritage.

    Reply

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