High-End Values: Two from Anderson’s Conn Valley (94, 95 points)

February 21, 2013 Uncategorized  No comments

In July of 2010, my wife and I spent two memorable hours in the cave of Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyard with winemaker Mac Sawyer tasting several wines out of the bottle and several more out of the barrel.  The last barrel tasting was the 2009 Reserve Cabernet, which has just been released with a 96+ point score.  Read all about our experience here.

This past May, we had another cave tasting scheduled with Mac but when we arrived, no one was there.  We later found out that he had suddenly passed away a few days earlier.  A very sad end to a brilliant winemaker’s life, but his legacy lives on in these three wines which achieved some of the highest scores in Sawyer’s career.

The 2009 Reserve Cabernet is almost sold out, so I won’t write it up other than to say it’s a brilliant wine.

2010 Anderson’s Conn Valley “Right Bank” (WA94, $49.95)

The best value in the portfolio is a Merlot/Cab Franc blend they appropriately call “Right Bank”.  This wine is an ager and is capable of lasting over 20 years.  I have a magnum of the 2007 vintage that I won’t be touching until at least 2020.  It’s that kind of wine!    >> Buy Here 

 2009 Anderson’s Conn Valley “Eloge” (WA95, $84.95)

Eloge is Conn Valley’s reserve bottling, based on Cabernet and also including 20% Cab Franc, 10% Petit Verdot and 8% Merlot.  Something interesting happened with the score on this wine. Robert Parker tasted it from the barrel and awarded it 96-98 points.  Then he handed off Napa tasting duties (if you can call tasting wine all day a “duty”) to Antonio Galloni who gave it a 92 point score from the bottle.  However, a year later Galloni admitted he underrated it and bumped the score to a huge 95 points.  I’ve had a few vintages of this wine and it’s incredible.  And, somewhat sadly, in an age when top tier Napa Valley wines sell for $200+, the price seems reasonable.  >> Buy Here 

Don’t forget to mention “Nickel and Dime Wine $25 Shipping” in the notes for $25 flat case shipping!  Details here.

2010 Right Bank – Wine Advocate 94 points

“Freshly cut flowers, violets, leather and spices jump from the 2010 Proprietary Red Right Bank. There is an element of freshness and vibrancy in the 2010 that is highly appealing. Today, the 2010 is a bit compact, but I expect it will flesh out over time. Hints of leather, licorice, menthol and tar add complexity on the close. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2020.

I was quite taken with these new and upcoming releases from Todd Anderson and his team headed by Assistant Winemaker Robert Hunt. A number of these wines showed quite a bit better than they did last year. The Cabernet Sauvignon-based Eloge and the Cabernets Sauvignons are the highlights among the reds. Sadly, long-time winemaker Mac Sawyer passed away earlier this year, something that was quite a shock, as he seemed fine just the last time I saw him just a few months prior. There is one change to the range in that the wine previously known as the Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon is now called Signature. Either way, the 2009 and 2010 are both superb.”

2009 Eloge – Wine Advocate 95 points

“The 2009 Eloge bursts from the glass with juicy dark cherries, flowers, mint, tobacco, licorice and earthiness. I especially like the immediacy of the fruit here. There is pure plushness and juiciness in the 2009 that is impossible not to love. Black cherries, tobacco, smoke and graphite all wrap around the intense, juicy finish. This is a terrific showing from Todd Anderson and his team. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2029.

I was quite taken with these new and upcoming releases from Todd Anderson and his team headed by Assistant Winemaker Robert Hunt. A number of these wines showed quite a bit better than they did last year. The Cabernet Sauvignon-based Eloge and the Cabernets Sauvignons are the highlights among the reds. Sadly, long-time winemaker Mac Sawyer passed away earlier this year, something that was quite a shock, as he seemed fine just the last time I saw him just a few months prior. There is one change to the range in that the wine previously known as the Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon is now called Signature. Either way, the 2009 and 2010 are both superb.”

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