$10 Meritage - Printable Version

+- WineBoard (
+-- Forum: TASTING NOTES & WINE SPECIFIC FORUMS (/forumdisplay.php?fid=200)
+--- Forum: Cabernet Sauvignon (/forumdisplay.php?fid=19)
+--- Thread: $10 Meritage (/showthread.php?tid=22305)

- Brom - 05-18-2012 04:04 PM

Cameron Hughes 2009 Meritage.

Cameron Hughes is apparently a buyer and bottler of inexpensive wines from CA and Chile.

I think folks can do a lot worse with their $10 than put it into a bottle of this ripe and juicy Cab, Merlot, Petite Verdot in equal parts blend. Pleasing and apparent (forward) mildly funky aroma, easy drinking, with more body than one might expect for a relatively low (13.6 %) alcohol wine. Dark fruit, dusty oak.

As nice a $10 red as I have had in quite a while. Take this to the __rodizio__ and enjoy with grilled meat.

I'd buy more.

- winoweenie - 05-18-2012 04:18 PM

Tankee fer the heads-up Bromski! Will see if me local pusher has or can get this lil jewel. Perfect wheelhouse for the give-aways , daily drinkers, and to stop the occassional wine snob I run into. WW

- TheEngineer - 05-21-2012 03:03 AM

I've never heard of them either but thanks for the heads up!

- Thomas - 05-23-2012 07:40 PM


What caught my eye is "relatively low (13.6%) alcohol."

Why do you consider that as relatively low alcohol volume?

- Kcwhippet - 05-24-2012 12:18 AM

We've had the Cameron Hughes reps in occasionally. We don't carry them because we didn't think the wines were all that good. There are thousands and thousands of wines available to us, but these didn't make the cut. Sorry.

- Drew - 05-24-2012 07:24 AM

I agree, KC, some of the CH wines have received good ratings in wine enthusiast but I didn't think they were all that...


- Brom - 05-24-2012 06:46 PM

Since many, if not most CalCabs and Meritages are over 14%, the CdB Marlstone which I suggested elsewhere itself being at 14.5%, 13.6% is low relative to comparable products, thus 'relatively low" as opposed to simply "low".

13.6% more consistent with some Bordeaux alcohol levels, but this wine is a more full-bodied drink than those.

- Thomas - 05-27-2012 05:36 PM

Now it makes sense, although I hadn't known that Meritages are generally over 14%.

- Kcwhippet - 05-27-2012 09:06 PM

I wasn't aware ABV was part of the Meritage mix.

- Thomas - 05-28-2012 01:54 PM

KC, I doubt that's what Brom is saying. He is pointing out that the style of California Meritage wines mostly includes high alcohol.

I don't cotton to Meritage as a concept, mainly because its original intent has been so diluted that a producer can offer a wine that is 95% one variety and 5% percent another (each from the list of allowed varieties) and call it Meritage, which literally means that Meritage has no identifiable standard attached to its composition, which also means that it is an unnecessary category that likely enjoys inflated pricing--which is what makes finding a bargain essential.

- winoweenie - 05-28-2012 02:26 PM

IIRC the name was the result of a contest put on by Calif winemakers and someting like 30 or so cases was the prize. Have never seen the usefulness of the name... The Bordeau folk get along swimmingly without it. WW

- Brom - 06-06-2012 03:11 PM

"The Bordeaux folks get along swimmingly without it."

I don't know - the generic AOC Bordeaux serves as the Bordelaise equivalent of Meritage, wouldn't you think? To call a wine a Bordeaux means that not only is it grown in a specified geographic area, but that it is comprised only of certain grapes.

That is all that Meritage means. Just as in Bordeaux, there is no identifiable standard of the composition of the wine. In fact, at least with a Meritage one is guaranteed of a blend of at least two varietals, which is of course not the case in Bordeaux. Of course it is also a fact that one can buy Meritage wines that are for example more Merlot than CA wines labeled Merlot.

- Thomas - 06-11-2012 04:10 PM


My main problem with the Meritage designation is that it only tells us that the wine is limited to certain grape varieties, which can come from all over the map. With no indication of what to expect from the wine, they might as well be named as varietals or proprietary blends.

The blends in Bordeaux are identified and determined not only by grape varieties but by place and producer names which, over time, indicates what to expect from the wine. Also, in AOC Bordeaux, the blends are "relatively" determined by tradition or fiat.

- Brom - 06-12-2012 08:41 PM

Geez, you can't read one more word on the label? A wine labelled "Bordeaux" can come from all over the map of that region with no further knowledge to the consumer. Unless a Meritage is labelled "American" the grapes didn't come from all over. Various meritage wines are lablled with their respective AVAs or even district or vineyard. If it is from Chile, it will say so. If it is not a Napa V. wine but a California wine, so be it.

While there indeed are traditional blends in the Bordeaux generally and at Chateau/producer specifically, tradition is not a specification. Individual chateaus change their blend from year to year - Lafite has in the past doubled the Merlot in the blend from one year to the next.

- Thomas - 06-13-2012 01:56 PM

Geez, Brom, you can't read the word "relatively." Wink

Yes, I know that simple Bordeaux has no rules other than the varieties that go into the wine, and I know that the word "meritage" was intended to emulate Bordeaux. I just don't know what the word proves, especially when you can buy a $10 or a $100 "meritage" from any one of the producers willing to pay to use the name. Have you ever seen a classified Bordeaux at $10? There is in fact a delineation in Bordeaux.

Well, yes, the label tells you where the wine is from, but the word "meritage" tells us nothing about the character of the wine, especially when the blends can be as widely varied as "meritage" rules allow. Plus,
have you ever heard of the TTB contiguous rule? If grapes come from two or more contiguous growing regions that cross state lines, the name of the AVA that represents the higher percentage of the blend can be used on the label.

Label-reading is a form of investigative journalism! Adding a word for PR purposes doesn't help.

- winoweenie - 06-13-2012 06:01 PM

Brom is BACK!!!!!! WW