Cameron Hughes Private Reserve

Cameron is out today with a 6 bottle vertical (2006-2011) from a “cult” producer. Looking at the description and COLA could this possibly be Harlan The Maiden? Someone tell me that is impossible.

Pretty sure Harlan did not change ownership…

Is Cameron Hughes wine what they have tastings of at Costco?

Cameron sent me a pack of this vertical to try with some Berserkers, and we’re scheduled to do the tasting on the 16th. Won’t help those of you who plan to purchase it, though, sorry, but that’s the soonest I could get an OC gang together, as apparently no weekends are available…ever.

I know nothing more about them other than the ‘cult’ story shown on the website, but we’ll be posting notes after the tasting. I’m told I will need to open them for quite a few hours, or double decant them.

Could this be a Napa Valley Reserve bottling? I think I read you can transfer your NPR membership, which could be what Cameron is referring to with “quietly changed hands between two individuals of considerable wealth.”

My father forwarded me the email today and my immediate thought was Sloan Estate. Pieces all would fit together…

Winery sold without the existing inventory, expensive consultant, $200-300 price tag. Pure speculation on my part, but at least there’s some logic to it?

Anyone tried the wines, it is tempting but not knowing what your drinking is somehow disconcerting to me

If the bottles were sold to CH as “shiners”, wouldn’t the cork give away the producer?

Was my thought too, but… Timing doesn’t quite work. Vineyard changed ownership. Alcohol levels posted in Herr Heimoff’s reviews don’t work. So probably not Sloan.

I haven’t been involved in tons of shiner bottlings, but the ones I’ve done have been with unbranded corks.

But why would the most recent COLA registry (label approval) by Cameron Hughes (9/15/15) list Harlan Estate Winery? Those more familiar with COLA than myself might provide more insight.

Could the dates of the vintages be a clue (through 2011, but not 2012, meaning the winery was sold in 2012)? Araujo matches that description; how many others would fit?

Pillar Rock Perhaps?

A reviewer on the CH website noted that between the “design” on the cork and Cam’s notes, he believes he knows who produced the wine.

If they’re shiners, it’s the wrong shaped bottle (assuming they didn’t change bottle shape just to bottle shiners).

I’m not that familiar with COLA, but Harlan does handle the Napa Valley Reserve wines and many (all?) of them are registered on COLA by Harlan. Napa Valley Reserve wines have appeared on flash sites before near that price range ($80 or so).

Pillar Rock is a good guess, but it won’t work because the land was sold, but not the winery or the brand – with the CH wine it’s the reverse.

The clues here are:

  • Vintages from 2006-2011
  • The winery changed hands between two individuals, i.e. the purchaser was not a corporation
  • Normal pricing of the wine (presumably full retail) is $200-$250/bottle
  • Vineyards in Oakville, Rutherford, Yountville, and St. Helena
  • One of the “most iconoclastic” cult producers
  • Produced in 100% French oak (interestingly this part seems to have disappeared from the CH website, although it’s still on line elsewhere – I thought this was pretty common though)
  • “Production overseen by the world’s foremost wine consultant”

It’s like one of the Garagiste mystery wines, except more promising…

Napa Valley Reserve could be a good guess.