Friday, August 3, 2007

Cameron Hughes Lot 37: 2006 Rosé of Garnacha

Buy this wine! Rather than my usual dreary introduction, I thought I’d get to the point so you can head to a Costco that carries this or buy it online direct from the Cameron Hughes website. This one is a no-brainer, two-thumbs way up.

Okay, here’s the particulars: the wine of this week was the 2006 Rosé of Gamacha, from the Campo de Borja region of Spain, sold as Cameron Hughes Lot 37. Gamacha is the same as Grenache. In case you aren’t familiar with Mr. Hughes’ operation, please click here and read up on it, because he’s putting some very good wines on the market at very good prices.

A pretty, light crimson color, sort of like Hawaiian Punch concentrate that hasn’t been diluted anywhere near as much as the directions tell you, it’s darker than your typical rosé. The initial aromatic impression when I first poured this was of strawberries, but after sitting in the glass untouched for a little bit, it reminded me more of a pinot noir with lots of cherries and a slight earthiness on the nose. Later on as I kept sniffing, I also started smelling bbq sauce! I thought maybe that was from the food (although we weren’t having bbq but we were having steak) but when I took my nose away from the glass that bbq smell disappeared. Back into the glass and it reappeared. Those aromas just made me hungrier.

Palate wise, there’s lots of fruit. There’s a viscous feel at first but then the acidity comes in to balance it out. Meanwhile, flavors of cherries and raspberries stood out. This wine had a nice balance of fruit, solid mouthfeel and acidity. The abundance of ripe, natural-tasting fruit was crisp, dry and refreshing; not at all like those sugary-sweet white zins or other artificial-tasting wines. The label says it's 14% alcohol but not once did it ever seem hot or alcoholic - the fruit and acidity buried it.

Now, that was just the first day (or evening). I drank this over the course of four evenings, one glass per night, the rest of the bottle preserved using Private Preserve. The second evening was similar to the first; on the 3rd and 4th evenings the aromas shifted more toward strawberries and white pepper, in line with Cameron Hughes' description. Flavor-wise, it was strawberries in addition to the cherries and raspberries. This was a seriously good rosé - I was very sad to drink the last mouthful!

Dr. Debs at Good Wine Under $20 recently sang the praises of this wine, and there have also been favorable comments on Cellar Tracker. The $7.99 price tag (at Costco; $10.00 online) makes it even better. This one was purchased at the Burbank, CA Costco and it looks like it is selling briskly. Even the checker remarked that another customer had just bought a bunch and told him what a good deal Cameron Hughes wines were, and I told him I agreed.

By the way, the picture turned out a little better than my past efforts. And yes, that’s still the Lion King up on the wall at the top. I think this is going to be my standard background from now on.


Dr. Debs said...

Glad you liked it! I thought you would, and I think this is a wine that will need customer buzz to convince the skeptics to buy it. I bet it was good with the steak, and I found it held up for a few days in the fridge, too.

MonkuWino said...

Yup, I really enjoyed this wine! I can't imagine a rose being much better than this one. It went well with the steak as well as the other stuff we had on the other three nights (which I can't remember now), and using my can of Private Preserve kept it fresh over those few days. I see plenty of roses costing a lot more than this one, but for $7.99 (or even $10 direct), this is such a deal!