The blackest purple imaginable–viciously staining–with a thin edge of the brightest fresh ruby. Fruit-forward nose, but a ridiculously ripe and heavy fruit-forward nose, none-the-less. Chalky chocolate, scorched earth and Mexican leather all vie for domination alongside gobs and gobs of dripping black cherry fruit, reduced and unctuous. Buttery banana molds a slight barnyard funk so perfectly on par with the rest of the bouquet it almost escapes noticing, but a welcome addition anywhere. A sharp pang of mint and bright conifer punctuates the nose, balancing everything into something you can’t WAIT to taste.
This thing is like someone boiled down a Beaujolais into syrup. Seriously, all the fresh fruit, all the riveting minerality, all the rolling green fields and decadent dessert, everything that makes your hair stand up about Beaujolais is concentrated down into this Malbec. I know how wrong–and confusing–it is to compare two polar varieties, and I am certainly not saying it tastes *like* Beaujolais, but it was the first thing that popped into my mind when I jammed my nose into this thing, and I have a bad habit of typing the first thing that pops into my head about a wine!
In the mouth, a blast of fruit so intense leaves you closing your eyes and shaking your head. I’m not saying I wasn’t *expecting* it, but oh man what a shocking blast it is. Rich and vibrant, playing second-fiddle to the acid MONSTER dancing about the room, it fills and compels the entire cavity of your mouth, coating every surface in an icy warm lacquer of tar, fruit, black walnut and grape Crush. Bitterness like a broken heart still in love graciously waits until most of the entry has made its bows before clawing everything back into its own version of focus, but it has met its match in this fruit. The fruit’s not going ANYWHERE.
How young is this thing?!?! Is it a 15? a 16?!? No! It is a 2014! Those of you who have been drinking wine for a million years know where I am headed with this train of thought: This might just have the world’s most perfect cellaring potential. Everything is here, and it tastes like it got off the boat YESTERDAY. Cameron Hughes is direct-shipment only now, so it will not show up in stores. You have to get it from them, and I know I say “buy a case and drink one a year” fairly often, but this is one of those circumstances where I am going to say: Buy four cases and drink two a year. I will even take this one step further: This is the best Malbec I have ever drank in my life.
Yeah. I just said that.
2014 CAMERON HUGHES Malbec ‘Lot 571’ Napa Valley 15.9