2008 Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards Right Bank Napa Valley
Expert Ratings
RP 92 points
RP 90-94 points
(Read the full reviews below)
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Anderson's Conn Valley Todd Anderson's Right Bank Payback

For the last two years, we've treated members to a steady dose of Todd Anderson's brilliant estate grown Cabernets, each drawn from this precious hillside oasis where the Conn River runs off Howell Mountain. Initially, back in early 2010, we not only made off with healthy allocations of Anderson's "Right Bank" and "Eloge," but Todd sweetened the pot with special pricing. The combination of the estate's reputation and discounts tipped the scale for many who had been reading for months but had never purchased.

Now, with discounts a thing of the past (particularly for the likes of Anderson's Conn Valley), we're playing every card in our hand in an effort to strengthen our negotiating position by enlarging the membership. Recently, we've taken to pushing the envelope on some of our most trusted partnerships -- never more brazenly than last month on our visit to Anderson's Conn Valley.

We were seated in the quaint little guest house -- a must visit if you're coming to Napa -- as Todd raved about the potential of the upcoming 2012 harvest. We laughed, talked about the glut that so quickly became a shortage, how the 2007, 2008 and 2009 vintages sold out at record pace, after Napa's finest struggled so mightily through the excellent 2005s and 2006s. We spoke of the sophistication of the 2010s, the challenges of 2011. We took our time, waiting until the moment was right. Then we posed the question and cowered, wondering if we'd overstepped boundaries.

Back in the crisis years, we explained, each Anderson's Conn Valley offer brought hundreds of new buyers to WineAccess. The combination of Mac Sawyer's cellar genius, Parker's raves, and 30% off pricing, proved irresistible to thousands of gawkers. We gently reminded Todd of the importance of our partnership, but also of our help during the crisis years. Now the tables were turned. How 'bout a little payback so we could bring more buyers into the fold?

We'd be lying if we said Anderson wasn't surprised. We'd be lying if we said we didn't consider retracting the question -- winding back the tape and splicing out the exchange, as soon as we saw Todd raise his eyebrows. If we've completely gained the trust of any superstar winegrower in the valley over the last few years, it's Todd Anderson. Now, we worried, we'd not only undermined that trust, but the guy with the Ryan Lochte shoulders was preparing to throw us out of the guest house, before kicking us up the road.

You could have heard a cork drop. Utter silence for the longest 20 seconds in years. Todd's eyes were on the floor. We felt lightheaded. Either the room was spinning or we'd forgotten to take our BP meds. Then, Anderson cleared his throat and came back with a proposal that almost made all that agita worthwhile.

The 2008 vintage had been a roaring success at Anderson's Conn Valley. For those of you who managed to get your mitts on a bit of the "Eloge" or 98pt Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, you know all about Anderson's brilliant navigation of the summer heats spikes. You know how the tiny yields provided for exquisite crème-de-cassis concentration, silken density, and a long supple finish that The Wine Advocate predicts will see Todd's '08s aging gracefully through 2025.

The 2008 Anderson's Conn Valley "Right Bank" is a knockout. Deep purple in color, infused with luscious aromas of crème-de-cassis and classical Right Bank lead pencil, the core here is packed with blackberry and currant preserves, the finish soft and firm -- delicious now, but built for the long haul.

Fortunately, Todd hadn't forgotten. After clearing his throat, his eyes grew bright, that charming smile spreading ear to ear. Instead of throwing us through the open window like a couple of javelins, he agreed to repay WineAccess for our crisis year support. Released in 2011, just as the wind again filled the market's sails, the 2008s flew out of the Anderson's Conn Valley cellar. That is, all but a handful of pallets Anderson held back for the winery library -- one of which is the subject of today's missive.

Tasting Notes

2008 Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards Right Bank Napa Valley
"The 2008 Right Bank (55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Franc) is slightly shorter and not as concentrated as the 2007. The lightest of the three vintages, the 2008 is a full-bodied effort displaying lots of cassis, bay leaf, charcoal, and subtle smoke. Expect it to drink well for 15 or so years."
92 points -- Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate (December 2010)

"Although they will not be released for a number of years, barrel samples of the 2008s looked very good. The wines are more supple and fruit-forward than the 2006s, without the voluminous personalities, concentration or depth of the 2007s, and less structured than the 2006s. It looks to be a very strong vintage at this estate, and I look forward to retasting them 12 months from now, when they will still be in barrel."
90-94 points -- Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate (December 2009)

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