2010 Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Reserve Napa Valley
Expert Rating
RP 93-96 points
(Read the full review below)
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Todd Anderson & Anderson's Conn Valley 93-96pt Pre-Release Party -- A WineAccess Exclusive

In the end, despite the July heat spikes, it would go down as the coolest summer in memory in Napa Valley. Luc Morlet would call the 2010 harvest "magique." Robert Parker's Wine Advocate would describe it as "epic", adding that the top wines are "big, powerful and viscerally thrilling." Todd Anderson, who has been crafting brilliant, age-worthy, estate-grown Cabernets at his Conn Valley stronghold for three decades, would call his 2010 Reserve, "The purest, most elegant Cabernet Sauvignon ever to come of the property."

We've been camping at Meadowood since Valentine's night, careening up and down the Silverado Trail and Highway 29, meeting with the likes of Morlet, Phil Titus, Tor Kenward and Craig MacLean. Each winemaker, whether discussing Chappellet's brilliant 2010s off Pritchard Hill, MacLean's Juslyn powerhouse drawn from that rocky hillside at the base of Spring Mountain, Tor Kenward's "To-Kalon" or Morlet's incomparable "Mon Chevalier," sang the same tune.

But last evening, where the Conn river flows off Howell Mountain, we spent two hours with Todd Anderson's 2010 interpretation. One more time, Anderson may well have sung the sweetest melody of all.

"Every growing season provides its own drama, but few threw us as many curveballs as 2010. For me, this was a vintage where it really paid off to be farming your own fruit. I think we were really in tune with Nature, knowing when to get at it -- and when to stand pat. In the end, those who panicked were scorched, literally. But those of who stood pat were rewarded like never before."

May and June were unseasonably cold on the rolling hills above St. Helena. Many pulled leaves, as the vines were already a couple weeks behind. Then, out of nowhere, came the first knuckle curve. A series of massive heat spikes, each punctuated by more cold weather, sent many reeling. Those who had pulled leaves could just watch as their bunches blistered. Others, like Anderson, left canopies in place, hand-trimming each desiccated berry.

By the time the cool temperatures returned, Anderson's tiny crop of beautifully aerated Cabernet clusters was set for the home stretch. From the end of August and through September the vines matured slowly and incrementally. Then, just as the heat began to build again in October, Todd and his team harvested a few days, picking beautifully formed, small-berry clusters. Most importantly, the juice-to-skin ratio was high, making for a lusciously pure "Reserve" that's drinking surprisingly well out of the gate -- but which The Wine Advocate suggests will be hitting its peak sometime in 2032.

Glistening purple-black in color, with piercing aromatic fruit purity -- an assemblage of exquisite blackberry and blueberry purity, laced with anise, bracketed by new wood cedar. The Advocate went wild, saying this one is "endowed with serious power and depth ... layers of blue and black fruit, smoke, tobacco and licorice are woven together beautifully." All that before lobbing on the 93-96 rating that sent every Anderson's Conn Valley wholesaler in the country scrambling.

Tasting Notes

2010 Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Reserve Napa Valley
"The estate's 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Reserve is endowed with serious power and depth. Layers of blue and black fruit, smoke, tobacco and licorice are woven together beautifully. Vivid yet rich and resonant, the 2010 stands out for its exceptional purity and overall harmony. Here, too, the oak needs time to integrate, but that shouldn't be an issue, as readers should not plan on opening bottles anytime soon. A creamy, layered finish laced with expressive blue and black fruits rounds things out in style. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2032."
93-96 points -- Antonio Galloni, Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate

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