Color: Dense purple, dark ruby Aroma: Classic Conn Valley bouquet, cassis, cigar box, black pepper and
crushed granite. Taste: Complex and dense. Full bodied, blackberries, sweet tannins, coffee,
chewy and concentrated long finish, lingering aftertaste. Should age effortlessly
Robert Parker Rating:94 Points
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The 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is showing even better than it did last year, which is not unusual when tasting the wines of Todd Anderson and Mac Sawyer. Dense ruby/purple to the rim, with the classic Pauillac-like nose of creme de cassis, cedar wood, a hint of tobacco leaf, and very subtle smoke, the wine displays charcoal and roasted herbs, full-bodied power, wonderfully sweet tannins, and a long, long finish. This is a 20- to 25-year wine that should just get better and better as it ages, but it is accessible enough to drink now.
It’s safe to say that Todd Anderson and winemaking assistant Mac Sawyer are flying on all cylinders with their Bordeaux varietals at this winery tucked away in the Conn Valley. They also make some Pinot Noir which I am decidedly less enthusiastic about, and some Petite Sirah which is promising. The Chardonnays are made with no malolactic fermentation, but have surprising weight, richness, and aging potential. Think of them as California versions of Corton-Charlemagne. There are three red wine cuvees made – the Right Bank, based on the Pomerol concept of a Merlot-dominated wine with some Cabernet Franc in it, the pure Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, which has long been the flagship wine of the estate, and of course, the Eloge, which is more of a Medoc-like blend of two-thirds Cabernet Sauvignon, about 20-25% Cabernet Franc, and the balance Merlot and Petit Verdot. These are all sensational wines, all worth tracking down in the marketplace. There are approximately 1,000 cases of the Right Bank. It is usually a blend of two-thirds Merlot and one-third Cabernet Franc. The Eloge, normally a blend of approximately 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Merlot and Petit Verdot, is another wine representing approximately 1,000 cases.
Wine maker notes
Conn Valley’s Cabernets are made from 100% estate grown grapes
from the vineyards located at the winery site in Conn Valley. This vintage is a
blend of numerous clonal varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon, each of which contributes
to the character of the wine and adds complexity. Prior to blending
and bottling, the 2006 vintage was aged in the hillside caves located on the
Conn Valley Estate.