2011 Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Reserve Napa Valley

2011 Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Reserve Napa Valley

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Expert Ratings and Reviews

95 Points Vinous Media
92 Points Vinous Media
89 Points Wine Advocate

Customer Ratings

Based on 660 ratings

Big, rich, smooth

Killer Cab

I waited seven months before popping a cork on this cab and it was SO worth the wait!. All I can say is that this wine represents everything you could possibly want from a first rate Napa Cab. And at the price point from WA, I would consider this a bargain hunter's dream.


I had the pleasure of sampling this wine with Todd Anderson in his cellar a while back. I have not sampled it since then but having ordering more off WA recently I went to the cellar and opened a bottle this evening. Simply phenomenal for such a young wine. Great color, intense nose of blackberry, cherry and perfectly balanced vanillin from oak. The body is strong yet supple with fantastic structure and wrapped with fine tannins that linger long after the passage of this extraordinary cab. It is quite nuanced.. Rarely have I encountered wines of this caliber for this price.

Second Review

Even better than before

Fantastic juice!

One of the shockers of Wine Access. This bargain priced 2011 has knocked out all who I have shared it with. It has gone side by side with the major CA cabs...and even though still young, has almost always come out ahead. My only regret, not buying more.

A True Napa Cab...Outstanding

Having recently cracked open a 2007 ACVV reserve cab, we had massive expectations for the 2011. The 2011 exceeded every one of our expectations, and left the 2007 in its dust. This is what every Napa Cab should taste like. It's big, with fruit immediately, then mid-palate, the oak hits you, as do the tannins. Just when you think the tannins are going to overwhelm, they melt away, and you are left with a fantastic bouquet of oaky fumes in the back of your mouth. This is balanced, but not Bordeaux-boring balanced. Instead, its balance comes with perfect integration of everything you want from a big cab. Just when you think the wine is going unbalanced, a new element hits to even the experience out...really, a masterfully crafted wine. It's young, but super drinkable. We did not decant...but did a ton of glass swirling to open it up quickly. I give Todd Anderson credit...he should be charging $200+ for this beauty, but he's clearly not into fleecing folks like the "cults" want to do. By far and away the best Cab I've had to date from wineaccess. This was, for me--a big, oaky cab lover--the perfect wine. Outstanding...if I could give it 6 stars, I would.

93 - getting better with age. Needs 1 hour to open up. Velvet tannins.


Better than expected.

Delicious wine.

2011 - an off year

Saturated ruby. Vibrant, forward, and berry-infused, although the concentration is only average. Tannins barely noticeable. 26 months in French oak somehow have not translated into a familiar savory sensation. A definite step down from the unbelievable 2009 Anderson's Conn Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Reserve. 92 points.

Very nice

Hmmm, not yet methinks

Young. Like a gum chewing teenybopper with a helluva body, she'll be far more interesting in a few years when her vocabulary expands beyond 2 syllables. But I wanna be there to slap that bottom when its time! I cant believe I wrote this, but I'm sticking with it as of Jan 2016. OCT 2016: She's wearing less mascara these days, college has been kind. A worthy cab now but not the equal of the 2013.

A Helpful Hint

We were not impressed with this wine right out of the bottle. We then decanted it for about 2 hours which improved it significantly.

Too much

Tasted my first bottle. I felt it was too much, too overpowering. The wine is lacking subtleness and refinement. Will let the other bottles sit in the cellar for a while.

Napa Valley 2011

The 2011 vintage in California presented growers with a number of challenges throughout the season. Overall, it was cooler and wetter than normal, with yields down from 2010, which was also smaller than normal. In these conditions, growers who managed their crop loads and canopies well and worked hard in the vineyards made some very elegant wines with good flavors, better known for their cool elegance rather than power. Those who did not struggled, and as a result the quality of the wines is more variable than normal for California.

A wet, cool spring slowed the onset of bud break, and the delays continued through flowering and fruit set, with crop loads reduced due to shatter. Some regions suffered from frost in April, severely reducing yields, especially in parts of the Central Coast. In Napa, rainfall was about 30% above normal for the year, good for the drought, but the cool temperatures and grey skies were no help to the grapes. The stage was set from the beginning for a smaller-than-average crop and a later-than-normal harvest. Summer was no help at all and was cooler than normal, slowing ripening and pushing harvest back further. Work in the vineyard included opening canopies to allow more light and circulation of air, to encourage ripening in the cool conditions, and to minimize the risk of rot and mildew. The start of the harvest in Napa was one of the latest in memory, with even the sparkling wine growers not starting until August 29th.

By the time September came, vineyard managers were working overtime to salvage what they could, hoping that the low yields would offset the cool temperatures and the vines could focus what energy they had into their lighter fruit load. If the weather improved and held through September and October, they could eke out a small but good quality harvest.

But it was not to be. In mid-September, conditions improved and spell of warm, dry weather ensued, sparking a late burst of ripening — but would it be enough? Early-ripening grapes took advantage and fared better, with Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, and some of the white varieties faring the best. But it wasn’t to last. With rain and cool temperatures forecast for the first week of October, growers faced a decision to pick before the rains and deal with the devil they knew — namely grapes that weren’t as ripe as they ideally would like — or roll the dice and hope things improved after. Cool rain arrived on October 3rd, followed by a few nice days before the next round.

With rain again in the forecast, growers faced the same decision again. It arrived on the 10th, this time in a warm, humid weather pattern. After the rains, botrytis set in and the fight was on. Those who had hoped to wait it out and get late-season ripening now faced another dilemma: waiting for ripeness and combating the rot, trying not to be forced to pick before optimum ripeness was achieved. That said, conditions were variable, with some sites affected dramatically and others faring surprisingly well. All of these problems contributed to the variable quality of the year, and winemakers were earning their keep in this difficult year. After the rain on the 10th, the weather cleared and was bright through November, but rot continued to cause problems, and unfortunately much of the damage was already done.

In the end, it’s a variable crop of wines in terms of quality, as one would expect in this scenario. It’s a vintage to buy with caution. There are some lovely wines — cooler, more elegant and less alcohol — a more European-styled vintage. But there also many that display unripe, green notes that are the results of the difficult season.

Key Dates

Frost affects Paso Robles

Sparkling wine harvest begins, the latest date in memory

Warm, dry conditions arrive, sparking a late burst of energy in the grapes, perhaps saving the vintage

The first of a one-two punch hits in the middle of harvest; Cool rains, followed by cool but decent weather

Rain and warm, humid, almost-tropical conditions wreak havoc; Damp ground, ample rain to swell the grapes, and warm temperatures make a perfect environment for botrytis, and it takes it toll as the harvest wraps up

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