Certain regions and varietals generally go together so perfectly that the combination of the two can induce a bit of excitement. Russian River Chardonnay is one such duo. Of course that’s not to say that every Russian River Chardonnay is terrific, far from it. But there are tons of well made examples and enough tremendous ones to inspire a bit of confidence when approaching them. I’m going to look at one today from Négociant Cameron Hughes. I’ve been very impressed with both his wines and his overall ability to source such high quality and sell it for good prices. In some cases the deals are just outrageous. The 2007 Cameron Hughes Lot 101 Russian River Valley Chardonnay is of course 100% varietal. 50% of the juice was fermented in new oak. 8,000 cases of this selection were produced and the suggested retail price is $14.
Granny Smith apple, Anjou pear and fig aromas fill the nose of this Chardonnay. Both pear and apple continue throughout the palate which is gentle, layered and complex; rewarding attention with ever increasing nuances that include ginger, cloves, nutmeg and tart apple. The finish is loaded with mineral notes and reminders of apple pie crust. This wine has excellent structure and absolutely tremendous acidity.
If you buy this wine for $14, what you’re doing is essentially stealing it. This Chardonnay is easily worth twice the price. When you drink it, avoid the temptation to over chill; many of its layers emerged a couple of degrees warmer than one would normally drink this varietal. The bottom line here is that Cameron Hughes continues to deliver one standout deal after another. Don’t hesitate to purchase wine with his name on it, he hits them out of the park with consistency.