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GRAPE PRESS: Cameron Hughes

from GBA

Conspicuous consumption is a big part of the wine world, especially so because some of the "big labels" make great wine. Consider, for example, Chateau Petrus, a 95%-Merlot, $3,000/bottle blend from Bordeaux widely hailed as one of the world's best wines. Now consider Domaine Alain Chabanon Le Merle Aux Alouettes, a Merlot-based blend from France's Languedoc, a relatively unknown $40/bottle wine that beat Petrus in a major blind tasting of Merlots conducted in France. Except for conspicuous consumption, why would anyone pay $3,000 for something that plays second fiddle to a product that sells for $40? Which brings us to the wines of Cameron Hughes, an American négociant, meaning he buys vintner's surplus "juice" and blends wines himself, or buys vintners' ready-to-go wines that he bottles or labels himself. The price for really good Cameron Hughes wine? Dirt cheap; they start at $10 or so. The wine doesn't have good-looking labels (e.g., "Lot No. 444"), but so what? Get on "Cam's" mailing list. He announces new bottlings frequently, which is cause for a 15% discount. He also has sales. We just bought two cases at 25% off (six each of Lots 444 (our third order of this beauty), 512, 520, and 524). These are all outstanding values that are good on receipt and will improve significantly with age. Cam personally previews each wine on video and, in our experience, his descriptions, including his superlatives, are accurate. more

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7701 Las Colinas Blvd., Ste. 800, Irving, TX 75063