Red Mountain Has Your Number

Deep ruby with solid edges, nearly impenetrable and somewhat staining. Rich musty manure, dull rust and grape jelly make for a cassis-ridden juxtaposition of smells earthily crammed into both the candy store and the hay-barn. Powerful to inhale, gaining complexity with each passing moment. Briar, gear-lube and a constantly shape-shifting column of fruit bring new definition to ‘intoxicating’.

Washington cabs–and especially Red Mountain–have always intrigued me. I can remember the first ones I saw.  Well… I’m not talking about CC and CsM, I mean–THESE two brands of fairly-boring-but-reasonably-solid-supermarket-producers we always had and basically grew up with, but I am talking about real Washington wines, with “Washington” prominently on the label and also “Red Mountain”.  In California in the 80’s and 90’s these wines were quite rare, but whenever I found them, I enjoyed the solid concentration of flavors alongside the decent structure.  There’s always a lushness, a perceived-sweetness almost in most of the WA cabs I drink.  As Napa-Sonoma junkies, we laughed at first about the possibility of big, bold wines from a part of the world we practically consider Canada, but these things are RIPE, there’s no doubt about it.

Decanted hard.  Let’s taste this thing. Although every time I bring it to my mouth, I get side-tracked by the nose.

In the mouth, clean, bright, cinnamon-tinted fruit rushes by, at once steely and still massaging copious pie-spice, licorice and effortless briar into your tongue. A welcome curl of tannin starts worming its way in, riding high on a wave of acid that has passed through and tempered all things to balance.

Yes, I have not ignored the word “Syrah” on the front label.  I’m not going to get bogged down about it. The only time I yell is when a vintner tries to pass off a *Bordeaux Blend* or *Meritage* with a healthy slather of Syrah.  If you want to make a Proprietary Blend or call it out right on the front label, I don’t have any problems with it.  Especially when we are talking about a 16-dollar bottle of wine.  I mean, this thing is just a stupidly good value.  It’s a GREAT wine, first of all–I don’t judge wines by their price–it just happens to also be half the price of anything I’ve bought in a long time.

It’s a reasonably complex, fruity, juicy wine, easy and fun to drink, for a great price.

2014 CAMERON HUGHES ‘Lot 575’ Cab/ME/SY Red Mountain Washington 14.1



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