Medium ruby. Very ruby. Even a little staining. Big jammy nose, thick and rich and slightly alcoholic with fat wallops of oak and cassis and vanilla. It’s actually kinda hard to pin this as Pinot. You can smell the syrup. A little twiggy stem pops up early-breathe, combined with a tiny bit of kitchen-sink funk.
Those who follow know I am a huge Cameron Hughes fan and have been for decades. Also, those who follow know the last couple I have said less-than-encouraging things about. There was the Riesling that tasted like Viognier and there was a quite shallow Napa cab… was there another? I keep delving into the box hoping to come up with a winner I can heartily recommend like SOOOO MANY in the past. But the treasures in this shipment are eluding me. It’s like whoever put this shipment together just grabbed all the wrong wines for my palate. I am in no means ready to throw the baby out with the bathwater. OK millennials let me explain that reference: See, an infant gets a bath in a wash-tub, a washtub is a large basin–like a huge bowl–and the water gets dirty, and you need to… oh nevermind. You’ll never understand. I am in no means ready to write Cameron Hughes off over a couple of wines which I think are poorly made. Or made in a style which appeals to a less-discerning palate–let’s put it THAT way.
In the mouth, a syrupy grape-juice with little varietal characteristic runs flabby and thick over the middle into an easily-quaffable finish. It appears as though Oregon is finally making the lowest-common-denominator CA-style Pinot. I’m sure it will sell like hotcakes.
2016 CAMERON HUGHES Pinot Noir ‘Lot 627’ Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Oregon 14.5