Lot 922 2021 Santa Barbara Pinot Noir

We have to admit that whenever there is a Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir on the table, we know we’re at the right table—belonging there just as much as the Russian River Pinots, the Sonoma Coast bottles, and dare we say, the Burgundies! (Shhh!). Cooling Pacific Ocean breezes and limestone-rich soils create the perfect conditions for growing Pinot Noir, and it just might be the best place in the U.S. for this variety. Our new release today, Lot 922 2021 Santa Barbara Pinot Noir is no exception.

If you want to know why our passion for Santa Barbara Pinot Noir runs so deep, the answer patiently rests under the cork and capsule of Lot 922—a Santa Barbara Pinot Noir from the brilliant 2021 vintage. We struck Pinot gold here, having sourced this wine from a 25+ year veteran winemaker and grape grower of the region who has worked with super-star brands like Geyser Peak in Sonoma, Canyon Road, and the Davies family’s Schramsberg label—sure, you might know their sparkling, but what about the Davies Pinots?! They are mind-blowing, but also $55+ a pop. And with all due respect to the other regions, with Lot 922 priced at just $16 a bottle, after one taste you’ll agree that it’s the definition of mind-blowing!

Not only will your jaw drop at the price, but you will be thrilled with Lot 922 as it dances and sings on your palate. This wine draws you in with a fantastically fragrant nose of red berry fruit, earthen tones, and baking spices. It is soft, creamy-textured with an irresistible mid-palate depth of dark, juicy, succulent candied red cherry and strawberry fruit. Toasty oak spices and hints of vanilla round out the finish completing this not to be missed Pinot Noir.

Watch or listen as Chris Lafleur, Sommeliers Creed for Cameron Hughes walks us through a tasting.

Wine Tasting Video Highlights:

00:00 Introduction
00:17 Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara
00:37 In the Glass
00:54 On the Nose
01:50 On the Palate
02:39 Wine and Food Pairing
03:07 Where does this fit in your cellar?

Tasting Video Transcript:

00:00:08:00 – 00:03:48:08
Chris Lafleur says
Hi, everyone. Welcome back to the CH Wine Tasting Room. It’s Chris Lafleur your super sommelier, tasting some Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara County. This is Lot 922. So Santa Barbara County, we’re a little bit more southerly than places like Monterey or even Napa and Sonoma by a lot. And some people will say, well, that it’s a warmer climate.

It’s going to be, you know, not great for Pinot Noir. But I say, you know, without the mountains on the western edge there, you get a lot more coastal influence. So you get a longer growing season overall and it’s great for grapes like this. Let’s go ahead and see what it looks like right away. You see it’s fairly pale, very clear.

I can see my hand right through it, but it’s leaning a little bit red and pink, like it’s still kind of youthful and very concentrated, even for a wine that is so light. I know those those sound backwards, but trust me, I am a sommelier on the nose. Oh, boy. It’s deep. It’s deep on the nose. It’s a core of red fruit with maybe a touch of black.

But really, we were driven by strawberries, cherries and raspberries, maybe even a touch of rhubarb. And if there’s any black fruit here, it’s leaning into the realm of, like, blackberry. But this is a wine that is deep. It is ripe. Maybe a little extra ripe. It feels very fresh. And while there are some other notes to it, like there’s some mushroom here and a little forest floor, but just a little there’s a little bit of vanilla bean here, but really well-integrated.

This is driven by being big, ripe and fresh. And I think that’s a fun expression for Pinot Noir. Now, I should tell you, as are smelling this and enjoying it together, this is a wine that is made by somebody with 25 plus years of experience in the industry making good quality Pinot noir. So if that’s not going to sell you on why this is so integrated and why I think it’s so cool.

I mean, the only thing left to do is taste it and confirm. Really hard to spit that one. The mouthfeel is excellent. It’s got a nice ripping acidity on the bottom, but on the palate, it is silky, it is smooth, it is languorous, it’s got great fruits that are red and strawberry and cherry. And while it does feel a little bit tartar on the palate, because the acidity coming through, it doesn’t feel like it’s lessened, lessening the fruit.

The fruit is still very deep with a very strong core of ripe red fruits on the palate. There’s also a touch of vanilla bean, like we mentioned on the nose, and it does seem to be a little stronger on the palate. I especially feel it on the finish, but I think it’s integrated very well, again, showing a hand with a lot of experience here.

So what do you do with a wine like this? Well, I think that you entertain with it. This is a great wine to pass around at a party. I also think if you’re having a barbecue in the summer with a little asparagus and some mushrooms and maybe a tenderloin, I mean, you know, not that we put all of those on the barbecue, but you could tenderloin, medium rare is perfect with this wine sprinkle a little peppercorn is some chimichurri and you’ve got to win that is very rounded for a delightful dish.

So where does this wine fit in your cellar? I think that this is a wine that you probably want a couple of bottles of minimum, because this is something that I think will change a little bit over time. The ripe fruit will integrate even more fully with the oak and the tertiary notes. I think this is something that in six months you’ll find very interesting.

You can drink it Now, certainly it’s certainly ready to drink, but I think it’ll become more interesting from here. It is December 20, 23, so think about in the summer of 2024. This is a great wine to open, but like I said, more than one bottle because as you open it in the summer, you’re going to again want to see how it evolves when we get into the colder months once more.

So make sure to get a couple, go to the website, click twice minimum on this bottle and I will see you at the next glass.





Lot 919 2021 Contra Costa Petite Sirah

A unique red blend from truly historic vines — ready for your corkscrew.

Today we have a wine from a relatively unknown wine region in California, Lot 919 2021 Contra Costa Petite Sirah with some really cool history. By the mid-1800s one of the most important farming communities in the entire United States—one still harboring a host of pre-prohibition vineyards planted in riverfront sand along a major Pacific Ocean inland delta—was Contra Costa County in the San Francisco East Bay. Today, residential buildings are more prevalent, many in the place of these historic heritage vineyards—but some have been saved.

Of those vineyards that have been spared by the bulldozer, some are the original vines planted by Italian immigrants rooted in beach sand dunes along the San Joaquin River Delta. Others are ‘younger’ vines, around 40-60 years old, planted by their descendants—‘young’ for Contra Costa but ‘old’ by California standards. And it is there, among the dunes, in a land rich with agriculture ghost stories of the past, that we sourced this fruit-forward Petite Sirah for Lot 919. Vines averaging 40 years of age are dry-farmed, producing small-berry clusters that are rich in flavor. A splash of Alicante Bouschet adds bright fruit qualities, while the Petite Sirah grapes bring muscle, robust tannins, and structure. Fire up the pizza oven, and send us an invite!

This is a Petite Sirah from a historic region that screams value, and at only $14 it’ll be the perfect addition to stock up on for these cold winter months.

Watch or listen as Joe Roberts, founder of 1winedude.com, walks us through a tasting and discusses this exciting release.

Wine Tasting Video Highlights:

00:00 Introduction
00:25 Contra Costa Old Vine Petite Sirah
01:05 The Pour
01:28 The Color
01:53 The Nose
02:27 The Palate




Lot 923 2021 Monterey County Pinot Noir

We have a winner for you today! 91 points. Juicy. Zesty. Full-bodied. Plush. Round and creamy. Those are just a few of the superlatives that past vintages of this Lot 923 have garnered. The source winery is based in Napa, and they are a powerhouse—they have access to some of the very best vineyard sources in all of California, especially in Monterey! And CH Wine Fans, the thing we’re not supposed to say (the thing our Sonoma friends don’t want to admit) is that Monterey might be California’s most “undersung wine region” for growing world-class Pinot Noir grapes—that’s a direct quote from the uber-lux magazine AFAR.

So, what’s the big secret? Shhh…it’s Monterey Bay’s “Blue Grand Canyon.” The positively frigid waters of Monterey Bay’s off-shore mile-deep canyon cause frigid winds to funnel inland at such profound intensity and speeds that trees are permanently bent southeast! But those cooling winds also make for perfect conditions to grow great Pinot grapes—they develop thicker skins to combat the winds, and the wines are fresh, fragrant, and powerful, with racy acidities, which is exactly how we’d describe Lot 923. Throw in heaping doses of juicy black raspberry and plum, a cache of herbs and baking spices, and plush textures. Sounds just like the heavy-bitting benchmark wines of the region from Chalone, Pisoni, Talbott, and Wente! Only some of their top wines run up to $75 per bottle.

Watch or listen as Chris Lafleur, Sommeliers Creed for Cameron Hughes walks us through a tasting.

Wine Tasting Video Highlights:

00:00 Introduction
00:18 On Monterey County Pinot Noir
00:32 The Color of Lot 923
00:50 On the Nose
01:29 On the Palate
02:14 Wine and Food Pairing
02:42 Where in your cellar?

Tasting Video Transcript:

00:00:08:01 – 00:03:24:15
Chris Lafleur says
Hi, Everyone. Welcome back to the CH Wine Tasting Room. I’m Chris Lafleur. You’re super sommelier. We’re going to be tasting Lot 923, a Monterey Pinot Noir. So let’s go ahead and have a look. Monterey, of course, really pretty. If you’re in San Francisco, it’s worth taking a trip down to go whale watching. I don’t know if they’ll let you take a glass of this on the boat, but you can always ask no harm in that.

Spilled a little wine cause I got excited. But that’s how good this wine is. So immediately it’s. You can see it’s really beautiful. It’s like, crystal clear. I can see my ring right through it from my hand. And it’s just beautiful light, red color. You probably want to call it like light, light ruby or maybe even a touch garnet because the rim is changing so much, but it’s also one that you want to hold up in the sunlight to see how it sparkles.

It’s incredible on the nose. Oh, okay. It is fully dominated by red fruit. There’s a great note of cranberry here, some strawberry, a little bit of raspberry. It’s very effusive. Some Pinot Noirs that I get to taste have a touch of black fruit. But this is completely driven by red. There’s a little bit of earth here. It’s coming through to me a bit as mushroom, maybe like some chanterelles, very expressive and also a touch of fresh turned earth, like the detritus on the forest floor. There’s also a little bit of cedar here, but that’s not to imply that this wine is driven by oak. This wine is completely driven by its fruit character, and this is a nuance of this particular wine.

Let’s taste it. This is becoming too much of a tease. Mm hmm. Oh, I went to go spit, and I forgot because I was tasting and it was so good. I swallowed it. It’s very, very good on the palate. It’s electric. It’s a few of my my palate is like the saliva. It just keeps coming. It’s so my mouth is watering is what I’m trying to say.

This wine is so good. My mouth is watering dramatically. It’s a great wine that’s fruit continues to dominate again. Red fruit, cherries, raspberries, strawberries, covering the palate here with a bit of that forest floor note and a touch of the cedar lingering. But really the fruit is driving the bus on this wine. It’s nice and tart. This is incredible.

I think that if you’re going to have this at your dinner table, this is something to put with your salmon. Not a lot of red wine. You’re going to pair with your fish, so. Well, but this is so light that it’s going to handle it very easily. And also, it’s a great wine to have with friends. If you’ve got some friends over and you want a Pinot Noir, that’s worth talking about.

And as the conversation goes, you continue to find new things. This is the one great notes of Cedar. Like we said, a little bit of earth. With a wine like this. Your friends are going to talk about it for days. Which leads us to where does this fit in your cellar? Well, ideally close to the front of the cellar so you can grab a bottle whenever you’re entertaining guests.

This is a wine that you probably want to get a couple of. So not only can you show your friends once, but show your other friends the next time and then have a bottle to yourself without having to share it. This is an incredible wine that’s got some versatility here, and I think it’s got a little room for age, maybe not too much.

I would say that in six months this is going to be a different wine in a positive way, but too much time might lead it to start to feel a little bit dumb. So have it now and then have it again. So if you looking at the website and thinking how much you should get, the answer is more than one.

And ideally for me, more than six. With that, I’ll let you go and purchase this and I will see you at the next glass.




Lot 2023 Club Selection 2021 Alexander Valley Carignan

A Wine Club exclusive holiday release for 2023!

Watch or listen as Chris Lafleur, Sommeliers Creed for Cameron Hughes, and Joe Roberts, 1winedude.com, walk us through a tasting and discuss this exciting wine club exclusive release.

Wine Tasting Video Highlights:

00:00 Intro
00:46 On Carignan
02:21 The Color
03:17 The Nose
04:18 The Palate
05:29 Where in your Cellar?
06:04 Food Pairing

Carignan Wine Tasting Video Transcript:

00:00:07:22 – 00:00:27:23
Hi, Everyone. Welcome back to the CH Wine Tasting Room. This is Chris Lafleur, your super sommelier. And I’m here with my friend Joe Roberts. We’re going to be tasting some pretty wild stuff today, something new about Joe. He’s the author of ‘Wine Tasters Guide’, as well as someone that can be found at 1winedude.com where you can read all of the things that are going on in his head about wine.

00:00:28:01 – 00:00:31:05
Joe, do you got a taste of that? What’s your most recent article that’s super fun?

00:00:31:11 – 00:00:39:14
Oh wow. I’ve been doing a lot of travel in Italy, so you can pick up quite, quite a bit. There has been some stuff on Etna, Romagna, Salerno coming up.

00:00:39:14 – 00:01:00:02
So doing a big takedown of Chianti. I don’t know if that’s true. Probably not true. You can leave Chianti where it is today. We got something pretty special. We’re going to be tasting the 2023 Club Selection. This is all just for you club members. And it is a 2021 Carignan. So that’s a pretty unique grape to be coming out of Sonoma County.

00:01:00:07 – 00:01:12:14
This is from Alexander Valley. This particular Carignan is blended from five different sites put together in this bottle. What is so significant about this, Joe, What makes this so different from the traditional offerings?

00:01:12:14 – 00:01:43:06
Yeah, I’m psyched about this. Yeah, this is probably the first Carignan I’m going to have ever tasted from Alexander Valley. Just not a grape you see widely planted in in that area. It really you don’t see it. Why they planted much outside of France and some parts of Spain. And typically it’s a blending component. Yeah, I, I find some really awesome single variety or carry-ons that are coming out with premium wines from Chile, but the production numbers are super low.

00:01:43:08 – 00:01:50:14
So this is this is just exciting for a geeky wine nerd like me. Yeah. Would you be diving into something special?

00:01:50:15 – 00:02:15:08
Even the band Queen really loved this wine. I mean, they sing about it like ‘Carignan, Carignan’. And that that may or may not be true, but it is something that is hotly debated in wine circles anyway. I also am a big fan of Carignan. I especially love it from prior out when it’s blended with a little bit of nature and it’s on these really high elevated terraces in Spain.

00:02:15:10 – 00:02:31:07
It makes for a wine that is very deep with great complexity, and I think that no matter where this is planted, we’re going to see some of that here. So let’s without further ado, let’s dig in. Do you like that that version of that song I did.

00:02:31:09 – 00:02:34:00
I like ‘Carignan my Wayward Son’, maybe a little bit better.

00:02:34:00 – 00:02:45:00
Oh, yeah. I mean, there might be a whole albums to be made about Carignan, or maybe have already been done. And it’s just a matter of someone, some intrepid writer putting it together.

00:02:45:02 – 00:02:47:07
We’ll be working on that as soon as this video’s over.

00:02:47:07 – 00:03:03:14
Yeah, this is not an official assignment, but we’ll see how what the engagement is like. Pretty dark wine. Yeah, like the look of this very deeply, Ruby, The core doesn’t really change. And going out to the rim, it doesn’t tint any further than pink. So I think this is a pretty youthful. Yeah.

00:03:03:14 – 00:03:17:13
And you can especially in those wines I mentioned come out joy they age wonderfully so yeah. With a really sort of premium level carrying on like this, I wouldn’t expect to see much development yet even after a couple of years and bottle.

00:03:17:15 – 00:03:23:06
Yeah, it is very fresh and intense on the nose. I really like that aspect of it. Like it’s deep.

00:03:23:11 – 00:03:23:19

00:03:23:19 – 00:03:27:07
Deep fruit. Like I think you called out sour cherry.

00:03:27:07 – 00:03:28:02
Sour cherry.

00:03:28:05 – 00:03:44:10
Before. I love that note. I also like, like red currant blackcurrant. Like there’s a depth of fruit here that I associate with those two flavors. I also am noticing on this go around, I’m getting like a little bit of spearmint or eucalyptus or something. That’s a little minty. Yeah.

00:03:44:12 – 00:03:48:13
And some dried herbal notes. Yeah. And meaty. That’s the other that.

00:03:48:13 – 00:03:49:03

00:03:49:05 – 00:03:51:02
Wild is sort of meatiness.

00:03:51:08 – 00:04:02:05
Mm hmm. And it’s, it’s interesting because to me, this isn’t like a rustic wine by any means. This feels like solidly new world, like solidly fruit driven. But all these other notes here add so much complexity.

00:04:02:10 – 00:04:17:20
Yeah, it’s to that point polished. Yeah. Your sense in that get a sense of that like deep juiciness, modern polish, but the signature pieces of the fruit and spice of on are still coming through, which is pretty, pretty sweet.

00:04:17:22 – 00:04:40:06
All right, let’s dig in and see what the structure is like. And that’s Joe and I talked about this beforehand and we were like, Bucket, No, thank you. There are so few bottles of this available. I think there’s only 500 cases made and a bunch of it is allocated just to the club. So like if we’re if we’re going to spit this out, we’re never going to taste it again.

00:04:40:06 – 00:04:55:12
Possibly. So got to enjoy this one. We got it. And I’m enjoying it right now. Great. Finish on this wine. Yeah, I like the structure. I like that the acidity is here. My mouth is watering, but not aggressively so. And it feels really big in the palate.

00:04:55:12 – 00:05:15:00
Like, Yeah, absolutely. It’s got that voluptuous roundness which I think would carry on. Typically, you do get a nice job acid, so it’s nice to have that balance the whole thing out abundantly fruity. Not so much of the green herbal notes and pepper that you might see in some cooler areas, but you’re still getting a lot of that.

00:05:15:00 – 00:05:20:05
Those spice notes, they’re just maybe a little darker, a little more dry, a little more developed.

00:05:20:07 – 00:05:25:12
In the meat that you call that, too. I get it. More on the finish than I do. Like on the nose. Yeah.

00:05:25:14 – 00:05:26:17
Really pushing that finish.

00:05:26:17 – 00:05:32:06
Yeah. It feels a little bolder. So what do we do with a wine like this? I mean, it feels pretty powerful to me.

00:05:32:08 – 00:05:51:06
Yeah, I mean, it’s delicious, right now, So you could. You could definitely be drinking this soon. However you carry on was done. This well is known to have some good aging ability. So it’s me. I, I want a couple of bottles because I want to see where this is going over me. Anywhere between 2 to 5 years. Yeah, it’s going to I think in five years it’s going to be absolutely banging.

00:05:51:08 – 00:06:05:13
Yeah, but all the nuance here, it’s all pretty tightly wound together. And I’m curious to see how it unwinds and delivers more even more flavor, especially on the fruit side. I think there’s lots to unpack. So it’s pretty cool. What do you put this with?

00:06:05:15 – 00:06:10:12
Well, I’m going to ask you that question. You’re the sample. Oh, can you tell me first for for me?

00:06:10:16 – 00:06:27:14
I’m in a restaurant with this. I’m thinking, you know, I was thinking strip loin earlier, and I’m still kind of thinking strip because I think that fat cap handles the weight of this one. But it kind of struck me like with this spearmint sticking out, this is a great lamb dish. This is something middle alongside that with a little mint jelly.

00:06:27:16 – 00:06:38:16
You know, Cabernet Sauvignon, especially from Bordeaux, is traditionally like the thing that goes with lamb. But I think this is a new contender. This is something that can maybe jump in there and take that spot if you’ve got a bottle on hand. Nice.

00:06:38:18 – 00:07:00:11
I’m I’m going to go on the gamey side, the meat, that medium side. Anything gamey. Yeah. I think you’re you’re golden. Having said that, anything with bacon bacon wrapped is probably also going to serve you well with this. So you might even be able to think outside of the sort of traditional render meats you get bacon wrapped, scallops, shrimp might also work.

00:07:00:15 – 00:07:05:23
You start with that is your app move over to the red or meats. You can drink this all the way through.

00:07:06:03 – 00:07:16:15
Oh yeah. This is a wine for all seasons or a wine for all courses, if you will. Appetizer through entrees. I’m not sure about dessert, but if you like it enough, why not? Might as well give it a try.

00:07:16:15 – 00:07:17:06

00:07:17:08 – 00:07:17:21

00:07:17:23 – 00:07:18:08

00:07:18:13 – 00:07:30:15
So. Where is this going to fit in the cellar? I think you need a couple of bottles of this. You got to see how it’s going to change and you got to keep it on hand to show people like, Hey, check out this grape. You ever heard of it? Well, these guys know about it and they liked it.

00:07:30:17 – 00:07:48:11
These guys being us. To be clear. Yeah. I think that this is one that you want to lie down for a little bit. Like you said, 2 to 5 years. I fully agree. I think this is going to change dramatically. It’s going to unwind. Some parts of it are going to come together a little more tightly and make like a single driving flavor coming through for it.

00:07:48:13 – 00:07:49:18
How are you going to buy?

00:07:49:20 – 00:07:51:18
Yeah, a half case.

00:07:51:20 – 00:07:54:13
Half a case each, Yeah. We’ll split a case. You have half. I’ll have half.

00:07:54:15 – 00:07:55:03
I like.

00:07:55:03 – 00:08:02:11
That. And then we’ll look I’ll write comments on your one line Deacon, about how much I like the carry on. Totally unrelated articles.

00:08:02:13 – 00:08:03:13
I’m getting trolled.

00:08:03:15 – 00:08:04:08
Getting scrolled.

00:08:04:10 – 00:08:05:04
It’s cool. Let’s go.

00:08:05:09 – 00:08:11:17
Super trolled by a super song. And with that, I think I’ll see you at the next question. Cheers.




Lot 858 2020 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

As always, Sonoma County continues to be a source of incredible values – Napa’s larger, more laid-back neighbor continues to offer superb quality for price relative to its more famous peer – an enticing fact in these new days of inflation (and a welcome relief to our pockets). The Alexander Valley AVA is the largest and most fully planted wine region within Sonoma and has been producing critically acclaimed Cabernet since Rodney Strong sold the first vineyard designated Sonoma Cab in the mid 70s.

Lot 858 is a single-vineyard designated Cab under its original label from the region’s benchlands, planted to gravel and sandy loam soils. After harvest and press, the wine was aged in 40% new French oak with the balance aged in first and second pass French oak for well over 20 months. The result is a wine screaming for attention in an otherwise written off market (considering all the attention its Napa neighbors command to this day).

Watch or listen as Chris Lafleur, Sommeliers Creed for Cameron Hughes walks us through a tasting.

Tasting Video Highlights:

00:00 Intro
00:24 Alexander Valley Cab
01:39 The Color
01:40 The Nose
02:14 The Palate
03:13 Drink now or cellar?
03:51 Food and Wine Pairing




Lot 917 2021 Wahluke Slope Merlot

Cameron Hughes Wine Lot 917 effortlessly combines deliciousness and pedigree into one irresistible package.

Sustainable, expertly crafted, and delicious—that’s our Lot 917 2021 Wahluke Slope Merlot in a nutshell. This 2021 Merlot hails from “Sustainable WA” certified vineyards in the Wahluke Slope, an area of eastern Washington that’s been gaining serious traction among red wine lovers year after year since its official recognition in 2006.

Named after a Native American word meaning “watering place,” Wahluke Slope is actually one of the drier spots in Washington state, all of it sitting on a large alluvial fan with incredibly uniform, gravelly soils that evoke regular comparisons to the world’s foremost Merlot powerhouse region: Right Bank Bordeaux. Bordered by the Columbia River, Saddle Mountains, and Hanford Reach National Monument, there are only 20 vineyards in Wahluke Slope, and almost all of them grow incredible Merlot grapes.

Watch or listen as Nicole Muscari, your Pocket Wine Advisor, walks us through a tasting.

Tasting Video Highlights:

00:00 Intro
00:43 The Color
00:53 The Nose
01:25 The Palate
02:05 Wine Pairing




Lot 916 2021 Sonoma County Sparkling Rosé

Cameron Hughes Wine Lot 916 offers a vintage Champagne-style experience for a fraction of the vintage-Champagne price.

Get ready to celebrate because Lot 916 is here to give you plenty of vintage Champagne-style drinking at a fraction of Champagne’s lofty prices. The grapes came from a coveted Sonoma source in this 2021 vintage, but just about everything else about this sparkler screams top-shelf French bubbly. We dare you to pour it blind for your friends and see if they can tell it’s from California—we couldn’t!

Stylistically, Lot 916 takes its cue from the best of Champagne’s vintage sparklers. First, it’s composed of 90% Pinot Noir, 6% Chardonnay, and 4% Pinot Meunier, just like wines from the best sparkling wine houses of northern France. Next, it’s made in the Méthode Champenoise style, with a secondary fermentation taking place in the bottle to capture the biscuit-like, brioche character that marks the best of Champagne. Finally, the dosage delivers a mere six grams per liter of sugar, making it Brut or Extra Brut in style and hence, fresh, energetic, and exceedingly dry with a lovely mineral finish.

Equally as impressive is the winemaking team behind Lot 916, which consists of veterans who are experts in the traditional method of sparkling wine production (having done stints at the likes of J Vineyards and Winery, Balletto Vineyards, Delicato Wines, and Clos du Bois). Their bubbles regularly score 90+ points with top-tier critics, and have taken home Gold and Double Gold medals at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, Sonoma County Harvest Fair, the Press Democrat North Coast Wine Challenge, and the International Women’s Wine Competition.

Watch or listen as Nicole Muscari, your Pocket Wine Advisor, walks us through a tasting.

Tasting Video Highlights:

00:00 Intro
00:18 Méthode champenoise
00:54 The Color
01:02 The Nose
01:32 The Palate
01:45 Pairing or Aperitif
02:12 Where in your cellar?




Lot 906 2021 Wahluke Slope Red Blend

Cameron Hughes Wine Lot 906 is a ripe-styled, full-bodied, intense, and richly-flavored red blend made from grapes with significantly smaller berry sizes translating into an incredible concentration of flavor and structure.

Red blends are absolutely on fire lately and have always been one of our top sellers. Wines like Lot 906 2021 Wahluke Slope Red Blend demonstrate why that’s the case. (Red Blend fans will want to think about buying multiple bottles, why? Keep reading!)

This red blend from Washington State’s Columbia Valley showcases a unique, record-setting vintage for the region. 2021 absolutely shattered temperature records in eastern Washington, with a historic heat dome settling over the area. For an average wine-growing region, this would have been potentially disastrous. But because of the incredible vineyard management talent and overall health of the vines in Columbia Valley in general, the source vineyards for Lot 906 weathered the heat like champions, producing high-quality, intensely flavored, power-packed fruit (particularly for the region’s red wine varieties).

Berry sizes were significantly smaller, translating into grapes with an incredible concentration of flavor and fantastic structure (thanks to a higher than normal skin-to-pulp ratio, meaning more tannins to go along with all of that ample dark fruit action). The catch? Yields were way, way down, and much less red wine was made in 2021 as a result.

Watch or listen as Chris Lafleur, Sommeliers Creed for Cameron Hughes walks us through a tasting.

Tasting Video Highlights:

00:00 Intro
00:22 GSM and Wahluke
01:48 The Nose
02:30 The Color
02:48 The Palate
04:00 Where in your cellar?




Lot 863 2019 Russian River Valley Chardonnay

Defined by the fog bank that blankets the region, and home to rare ancient sandstone seabed soils, the Russian River Valley is known the world over as a preeminent, cool climate winegrowing region, famous in equal parts for its Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. The latter is on offer today exclusively to this list’s members, another tasting room-only casualty from the early days of Covid shutdowns that we grabbed to pass the savings on to you!

Lot 863 is a pinnacle example of this region’s ability to bring its fruit to exceptional maturity and not be marred by being over-oaked. A 60/40 oak and stainless blend that saw malolactic fermentation, it’s equally enjoyable for the diehard ‘classic Cali Chard’ fans and the ‘varietally correct’ camp of stainless-steel Chard lovers, culminating in one of the most balanced, beloved, and approachable expressions of Chardonnay we came across from the 2019 vintage. Add in blue chip estate pedigree and a winemaker with decades of experience with the fruit of this region, and you have one of the best Chardonnay values all year.

Watch or listen as Chris Lafleur, Sommeliers Creed for Cameron Hughes walks us through a tasting of this Russian River Chardonnay.

Tasting Video Highlights:

00:00 Intro
00:16 2019 Vintage Chards
01:18 The Nose
01:59 The Palate
02:54 Where in your cellar?




Lot 875 2018 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Cameron Hughes Wine Lot 875 is an exclusive Cabernet release from a top Napa house!

Napa Valley is famous the world over for exceptional Cabs, and occasionally, we come across one of the very top houses cutting bait with exclusive, tasting room only, reserve program, or single vineyard bottlings, however, the price isn’t always right. That’s not the case this go around. One of the tightest NDAs we signed late last year allowed us to find the perfect intersection of exceptional wine at an extraordinary value.

Lot 875 is produced by a house that essentially defines Napa pedigree with triple-digits running the cost of entry. All their releases are in the barrels-to-low case count quantities, so exclusive is something they embody to the fullest. As such, the quantity of what we have to offer today is hyper-limited, and all we can tell you about this wine is it’s 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, 100% New French oak aged, and a one-off score from a discontinued program at the original winery. This is a bottle that may seem unassuming but is in fact a collector’s item.

Watch or listen as Chris Lafleur, Sommeliers Creed for Cameron Hughes walks us through a tasting.

Tasting Video Highlights:
00:00 Intro
00:32 On Napa Valley
01:08 The Color
01:38 The Nose
02:30 The Palate
03:16 Where in your cellar?