Lot 960 2018 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir is a distinguished expression of top-shelf estate Russian River Pinot Noir for a weeknight price.
If these Russian River Valley Pinot Noir grapes could talk!! They’d spill the beans about their origins, and then you’d know all about the source winery’s remarkable single-estate vineyards that contributed to this structured blend. Good thing those grapes were crushed, fermented, and turned into one of the most delicious Pinot Noirs we’ve had the privilege of sourcing this year. CH Wine fans… this is a diamond in the rough.
In the glass, Lot 960 2018 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir has a lovely ruby sheen with a hint of purple in the core and an orange-rimmed hue. At 5 years old – this is a wine that has been cellared for you! It’s a heady Pinot with dark brambly fruits, red and black plum, and hints of allspice framed by oak and vanilla. Hello beautiful! It literally leaps out of the glass with expressive fruit, building with mouthwatering acidity, plenty of lift, and a complex vein of minerality through the medium-bodied finish. This is a lovely structured Pinot Noir hitting its stride right now and capable of another 2-4 years of bottle aging.
Super-high-class Swan, DRC, and Pommard clones of Pinot Noir (the same clones coveted by big-name Russian River producers of triple-digit priced Pinots) were blended together to create this utterly dynamic Pinot Noir. Lot 960 delivers a medium-bodied and fashionable wine that was a special Lot selection from the source winery’s epic estate vineyards. This is a wine people would normally pay $70 for, but as a CH Wine “insider” you get these special deals. You and your best wine friends will be fawning over this heady and lifted Pinot with its plummy goodness, baking spice accents, and underpinnings of cedarwood and vanilla. Expressive fruit and minerality, mouthwatering acidity, and the gusto to pair with everything from baked fish and roasted chicken to rack of lamb and Wagyu burgers.
Watch as Katy Long, Director of International Wines for VWE walks us through a tasting of this 2018 vintage Russian River Valley Pinot Noir.
Tasting Video Highlights:
00:13 Lot 960 Info
00:22 Russian River Valley
00:37 Color of the wine
01:00 On the Nose
01:28 The Taste
02:02 When to Drink
Katy Long says:
Hello and welcome back to the CH Wine tasting room. I’m Katy Long and today I have lot 960 this is a 2018 Pinot Noir from Russian River Valley. Some regions are synonymous with their grape varieties and Russian River Pinot Noir is just one of those examples. There is a reason why there’s Pinot Noir planted in this area, and that’s because it thrives and it creates these beautiful wines of complexity.
So taking a peek at that color, it is a lovely ruby. It has a hint of purple in the core, almost a bit of orange at the rim, which is kind of to be expected of a Pinot noir, especially one with a few years of age. So what I’m really excited about with this wine is that it is a 2018, which means we’ve done the cellar thing for you.
You can go ahead and open a bottle of this and enjoy immediately, but let me give it a sniff and see if I have anything else to add to that. Oh, this is a heady Pinot noir. There are rumors that just keep unfurling. It is dark bramble fruit. There’s some red plum, some black plum, a hint spice. It might be more of a cinnamon and all spice baking spice component.
And then there’s also this frame of, like oak vanilla. Let’s give it a taste. Hello, beautiful. That wine just jumps out of the glass. Well, on the palate, it’s maybe medium bodied. There’s a good bit of alcohol, and it just kind of lifts up those fruit flavors. It’s mouthwatering acidity. It’s really balanced and it’s a whole lot of fun.
There’s a minerality that also makes it kind of complex. This is a bit more structured than some of the other Pinot Noir, and it is absolutely hitting in its peak window to drink, not to say, though, that it’s not going to continue to evolve for another 3 to 5 years, but I’d say don’t wait, get a case, pop open a bottle and I’ll see you online.
Lot 950 Mulled Wine by CH Wine. For when it’s cold outside. Sip and savor your mug of mulled wine with Cameron Hughes Lot 950 2021 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Download Mulled Lot 950 Recipe (pdf) Servings: 4 Prep Time: 20 minutes Difficulty: Beginner Rating: ★★★★★ INGREDIENTS 1…
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:
00:18 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 829 came to our attention from one of the premier wineries in the Piemonte region, focusing on low-yield vines, hand-pruning to optimize clusters and ripeness, then hand selecting clusters that make it to press before aging in oak with a bit of further bottle conditioning before release. From cured meats to fried foods, from oven-roasted to charcoal-grilled meats, it’ll be harder to find a more ideal, versatile pairing wine, leave alone one at over half off the original winery’s price!
Perfectly pale garnet in the glass, the nose is everything you’d love to find in a Nebbiolo: cranberry, cherry, and rose wrapped in soft, new leather accented by dusty clay pot. The entry is terroir-driven with bright, juicy cranberry acidity, sweet tobacco, further clay pot, and tar with infinitely small, dusty, mouth-filling tannin. The finish is medium length, dry and clean, anchoring this quaffable delight right in between a solo-sipper and your next cheeseburger’s best friend.
Watch as Nicole Muscari, your Pocket Wine Advisor, walks us through a tasting and discuses this exciting Italian red wine.
Wine Tasting Highlights:
00:00 Intro and Langhe
00:47 The Color
01:06 On the Nose
01:42 The Palate
02:28 Where in your cellar?
Tasting Video Transcript:
00:00:08:02 – 00:00:31:16
Nicole Muscari says
Welcome to the CH Wine tasting room. I’m Nicole Muscari your pocket wine advisor here today with LOT 829 from the Langhe. My Italian ancestors would be very excited right now. So where is the Langhe? The lake is in the region of Piedmont in northern Italy. Now, some of us know Piedmont to have Barolo. That’s probably the most well known wine here.
00:00:31:20 – 00:00:56:07
But the Langhe is just as exciting. And why is that? It produces wine from Nebbiolo, just like Barolo does. But the value here is completely unmatched. So without further ado, let’s get into the color. So what I love about this color is that it has this medium garnet. It’s a little bit translucent, and as it goes out to the rim, you see that Garnet become more pale.
00:00:56:08 – 00:01:23:09
This is very, very common for Nebbiolo. This specific color, this does not mean that it’s aged by any means. This is just a characteristic of the grape variety. On the nose. That is so delicious. This could actually fool me into thinking it was a very, very expensive Barolo because it has that classic tar and roses. And that’s what I always find on Nebbiolo wine.
00:01:23:11 – 00:01:56:04
And every time I say tar and roses, it sounds like the next hip restaurant, doesn’t it? Okay. Other than that, we have this bright red cherry almost going tart red fruit, so sour cherry, cranberry, a little bit of sweet spice and dried herb. Ooh, it’s just really delicious. Let’s get into the palate. Oof! That is great. The fruit concentration here is perfect.
00:01:56:10 – 00:02:17:22
That mid palate, it really hits. It’s like a burst of flavor. Everything that I had mentioned on the nose, those tart red cherries, those cranberries, a little bit of tobacco and sweet spice, a little bit of dried rose petals. It’s all there. What I think is very notable about this wine is it has a very, very high acidity and also very, very high tannin levels.
00:02:17:22 – 00:02:38:00
So that means your mouth is really going to dry out here. But that also means that this wine can age for a very long time. If you wanted it to, even up to five years, I would say. So where does this fit into your cellar? Well, as I mentioned, this wine can definitely age up to five years. I think if you really love that mouth drying feeling you can sometimes get from a red wine.
00:02:38:04 – 00:02:56:21
You can drink this now, but over time, those tannins are really going to soften and integrate into the wine. And I just think that’s going to be even more enjoyable. What I would pair this with, well, I always say what grows together goes together. I would put this with a truffle risotto with mushrooms. Think about those white truffles from Piedmont.
00:02:57:00 – 00:03:03:15
That would just be a perfect pairing. And now my mouth is watering for my glass to yours. Cheers
Lot 890 2021 Suisun Valley Viognier comes to us from a high-end source winery in the Suisun Valley AVA which has been producing Viognier for over 4 decades – more so than almost any other winery in the state. Nestled between the Vaca and Coastal Mountain ranges, the picturesque Suisun Valley boasts a unique microclimate and diverse soils that contribute to the production of exceptional wines. Known for its cool maritime influences and warm, sunny days, its particularly well-suited for growing both Bordeaux and Rhône grape varieties like Viognier.
For those of you looking to diversify your whites selection for the Summer, look no further than this fantastically expressive varietal. The aromatics of Viognier are second to none thanks to naturally occurring high levels of terpenes (the compound that gives flowers their alluring scents). Additionally, when it goes through fermentation, that floral character is so stable that it doesn’t change, resulting in a wine that not only has a great fruit core, but a beautiful backbone of florality which keeps it fresh and lively on the nose and palate. We were only able to secure 100 cases of this gem, so grab a case or two quickly before it’s gone!
Lot 890 absolutely leaps out of the glass with beautiful aromatics of white flowers, mandarin oranges, and white blossoms underpinned by white peach and warm apricot. On the palate, that intoxicating florality is backed by stonefruit notes of peach, apricot, and lemon pith leading to a wonderfully fresh, mouthwatering finish. This is a wine to drink now and will pair exceptionally well with spicy Asian dishes, grilled or decadent seafood, or something light and playful like a summer salad with fresh-picked flowers.
Watch as Chris Lafleur, Sommeliers Creed for Cameron Hughes walks us through a tasting.
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