Review: 2007 Cameron Hughes Cabernet Santa Barbara Lot 138

Immediate Gratification

Rating: Wow.  Wow.  This is a real surprise.  Powerhouse Cab that hits all the pleasure points.  Stock up. $10-12

The Rest of The Story:  (Full disclosure: This wine was received as a press sample from the winery.) In Monday's article about Cameron Hughes Wines we mentioned having had - and enjoyed - Lot 140, a Chalk Hill Cab.  And while there is a review forthcoming for that, we tasted another CH wine just yesterday that's too good to sit on - and it's on sale through the end of this week.

Santa Barbara county is known for many things, but great Cabernet is not one of them....
So, expectations in check, the stopper went pop and into the decanter went Lot 138.

Wow.  Wow.  The deep blackberry color and aromas that scream "Drink me, stupid!" were the first clues that we were in for a surprise.  This baby is rocking and ready to go right from the cork pull.  Big, juicy, and extracted, classic California flavors come at you Rosie O'Donnell goes after a twinkie.

Not for fans of subtlety, it's big, brawny, and dense. Macho, while at the same time being luscious, leathery (Cole Haan, not Harley Davidson), and chocolately in a raspy feminine way.  Mmmm, mmm good.

Then you get a sense of its structure; dusty tannins arrive a little late to the table and make it interesting.  Finally, the teeth-staining aftertaste lingers with glycerin and vanilla flavors - like barrel wine.

After several hours open it loses its structure a bit, so maybe not meant for long term cellaring.  But who cares?   Love it now.  At $12 it's an insane value, but at a hair over $10, we're stocking up.