Most of Cameron Hughes’ offerings are labeled as “Lots,” as in (for my money) “lotsa taste and lotsa value,” and all the labels look uninspiringly the same. Ahhhh, but the wine! Fact: I am today drinking Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon I bought from “Cam” five years ago. Fantastic wine? Absolutely. Value priced? Absurdly so. And the same can be said of this 2018 Yorkville Highlands Pinot Noir, Lot 724. Cam’s take on the wine? “Located in the south of Mendocino, at the headwaters of the Russian River and Navarro River watersheds and separating the Alexander Valley from the Anderson Valley, the foggy vineyards of the Yorkville Highlands AVA are planted in rocky, gravelly soils that offer terrific drainage at high elevation (850-2500ft). Lot 724 is our first release from this region in almost a decade, sourced from a picturesque little family-owned winery nestled at the northwestern side of the Anderson Valley. Produced by fantastic winemaking talent with top training and pedigree that left the big names to pursue a labor of love to call their own, this is a dynamic Pinot aged in French oak that showcases terrific character and a sense of place. If tasted blind, you'd think this was Oregon right out of the bottle – it pours an almost-transparent scarlet color in the glass, but this Mendocino Pinot hits all the local terroir marks with a nose bursting of cranberry, rose hips, hibiscus, and cocoa bean. On entry the juice is oddly buoyant and refined at the same time, riding a medium acidity with soft, silky tannins accentuated by notes of mushroom, potpourri, cinnamon, and clove. The finish is incredibly clean, dry, stitched up, and commanding of another sip.” To me, the wine was absolutely distinct, and seemed to echo the nose and taste of a nice Burgundy or a really nice New Zealand Pinot. I’d give it 92 points (I’ve already started case no. 2.) The wine retails at $15, but Cam frequently has 15% off specials, lowering the price to $12.75. I got mine by waiting for a 20%-off special; a somewhat rare but not uncommon offering. Sign up for offerings. Join with friends to buy a case or more; free shipping by the case.

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