Wine negociant and entrepreneur Cameron Hughes has traditionally reserved Lots 200, 300 and 400 from what he considers some of the finest producers in Napa Valley, and the 2011 Cameron Hughes Lot 500 Napa Valley (Oakville) Cabernet Sauvignon follows suit with a blockbuster Big Red.   If you have not become familiar with the Cameron Hughes label, the wines each are released under a lot number, along with a generic description of the source of the premium juice obtained for the individual wines.  In doing so, Mr. Hughes and his team are able to consistently obtain excess wine production at a bargain from some of the best producers in Napa Valley and beyond (see Chapter 21 for a review of the terrific Cameron Hughes Lot 343 from the South of France) without devaluing the primary releases of the source vineyards.   Particularly in years of copious production of grapes, the Cameron Hughes model is a very clever one indeed, and the big winner is the consumer of great wines!   Contractually obligated to protect the source of the juice, the Cameron Hughes website ( describes the 2011 Lot 500 Cab as follows:  “Lot 500 comes from one of the best vineyards Napa has to offer. Located in the heart of Oakville, this is a tremendous estate that holds the honor of producing one the first Napa Valley wines to be awarded 100 points, and continues to make some of the best Cabernet you can find anywhere.”   The CH Lot 500 was a Gold Medal winner in the prestigious 2013 Cabernet Shootout Challenge.  Full-bodied and bold in texture, the Lot 500 contains a large profile of blackberries and plums, with polished, fine tannins and a lengthy finish.   This is one for the cellar, as the 2011 vintage is truly young for wine of this pedigree.  Best of all, it is available for a quite-reasonable $29, a true value when you consider the stratospheric costs of other Oakville Cabs, such as Far Niente, Opus One, Rudd and even legends such as Screaming Eagle!   The more you know about fruit from the floor of Napa Valley, the more you will like the 2011 Cameron Hughes Lot 500 Cabernet Sauvignon.