A négociant is the French term for a wine merchant who assembles the produce of smaller growers and winemakers and sells the result under its own name.
Cameron Hughes is a Negociant in the wine world, delivering small "Lots" of high-end wines at very affordable prices. He’ll shop around the world’s best wine regions, including France, Italy, Spain, Australia, Argentina, South Africa, and California to find some very good juice in bulk that a vineyard might sell for $55 per bottle and sell it for $15. He sells directly to consumers on line thru his website and retails mainly at Costco.
I had the pleasure of meeting him yesterday to sample some of his newer releases at the Snooth offices in NYC. To me they were all great value wines. Here are some of my abbreviated tasting notes:
Lot 108 Napa Valley Chardonnay 2007 $14
Apple, pineapple, lemon rind and pear aromas with lemon verbena and grapefruit on a creamy fresh finish.
Lot 159 Santa Barbara Chardonnay 2008: new release $14
Musky aromas, citrus, creamy oak.
Lot 125 Napa Carneros Pinot Noir 2007 $18
Aromas of dark cherries, mineral/petrol with flavors of black pepper, raspberry, chocolate and a creamy caramel finish.
Lot 129 Campo de Borja Garnacha 2007 $16
Leather, red fruits, wood bark, dark cherry fruits, smoke, violets, slight carbonation.
Lot 135 Central Coast Syrah 2007 $12
Animal, bright fruits, dark berries, strawberries, red licorice.
Lot 169 Napa Valley Merlot 2007: new release
Blue fruits, candy cane, some heat, blueberries, oak, structured.
Lot 147 Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 $15
Dry, tarry, some minerality, tight, attractive aromas of leather, sachet d'Épices and black cherry, with violet notes and oak.
Lot 149 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 $22
Super intense perfumes of flowers especially lilac, powdered violets, sweet juicy blue fruits and cassis. My favorite of the group.
Lot 154 Lake Country Zinfandel 2006: new release $13
Bubblegum, vanilla, banana and blueberry