There’s no question in my mind that the Merlot grape can make some of the best wines in the world. On the other hand there are also some wines out there labeled Merlot that taste like anything but. Additionally, I’ve become pretty confident that the wines négociant Cameron Hughes is sourcing and releasing are going to be solid values. So it was with all those thoughts swirling in my head that I prepared to taste one of their current release Merlots. The Cameron Hughes 2005 Lot 112 Merlot is made from fruit sourced in two Napa County regions; Coombsville and Jamieson Canyon. While neither is officially considered a distinct appellation I know there has been plenty of thought that Coombsville will be soon. This wine is 100% Merlot. 4,700 cases of this offering were released and the suggested retail price is $12.
Blueberry, plum, and violet notes highlight the nose of this 2005 Merlot. Hints of vanilla bean are also present. The fruit on the palate leans towards red flavors with wild strawberry, cherry and raspberry in the forefront along with black pepper. Chocolate and earth emerge on the finish along with hints of dried cherry and plum. This wine has yielding tannins and good acidity.
The Lot 112 Merlot is another strong argument that price-point shouldn’t play a role in the decision to decant or not. A solid hour in the decanter really helped this selection open up. Once it did this Merlot showed itself to be both true to its varietal and also very tasty overall. For $12 this is another very nice value in the Cameron Hughes Lot Series.