Todd Anderson’s 2010 “Éloge” is one of the finest to ever come off this blue-chip property above St. Helena, just south of Howell Mountain. $95 on release. First offered for $75/bottle in late 2013. Just $50 today on WineAccess, as we clean out the last bits and pieces from the Oregon warehouse before the September 1st move to Napa. 62 bottles remain.
It would go down as the coolest summer in recent Napa Valley history, one that provided for extended hang-time, allowing growers to wait until mid-October to pick. Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate described the 2010 vintage as “epic,” adding that the top wines are “big, powerful and viscerally thrilling.” Todd Anderson, who has been crafting brilliant, age-worthy, estate-grown Reserves at his Conn Valley stronghold for three decades, called his massive 2010s “the purest, most elegant Cabernet Sauvignons in Conn Valley’s history.”
When we asked Todd to explain the vintage’s remarkable poise, its age-worthy marriage of black-fruit intensity, silken texture, and firm backbone, Anderson didn’t miss a beat. “Every growing season comes with a script, but few provided as much drama as 2010. For me, this was a vintage where patience was really rewarded. Those who panicked in July really took it on the chin. But for those of us who have been through this before — and stood pat — 2010 may well be the most unique growing season in estate history.”
[[image0_left]]Up here above St. Helena, where Conn Creek flows off of Howell Mountain, May and June were unseasonably cold. The vines were already 2-3 weeks behind. Many panicked, pulling leaves in early July, hoping to jumpstart maturity.
Then came two unexpected heat spikes, the first in mid-July, the second in August. Overly exposed bunches were blistered by the sun, making for an uneven crop prone towards desiccation. But Anderson — like Harlan, Screaming Eagle, Bryant Family, and most of the other blue-chippers in the valley — left canopies untouched. When the cool days returned in the latter part of August, Anderson’s small crop was set for the home stretch. From the end of August through early October, the fruit matured slowly and incrementally. The call to harvest came just a few days into the second week of the month.
Glistening purple-black in color, with sensational aromatic purity — a plush mix of blackberry, black cherry, and violets, tinged with cool-vintage sweet spice. Rich, powerful, and voluptuous on the attack, packed with black-fruit preserves, bracketed by ripe-tannin vibrancy. Drink now — but only after two hours in a carafe. As Robert Parker wrote, the 2010 Éloge is “still very much a baby.”
$95/bottle on release. First offered for $75 late in 2013. Just $50 today on WineAccess, as we continue to clean out the Oregon warehouse prior to the move to Napa.
We enjoyed our first bottle of this lovely wine tonight...and we were blown away! We love a smooth cab/cab franc blend...and this was one of the best we've had! Our remaining 3 bottles will be savored for special occasions!
Had this last night after cellaring for a couple of years. Huge nose cherry, blackberry, vanilla, cigar box spiciness. On the palate, huge blackberry, blueberry, ripe black cherry, massively sweet oak vanilla that does not overpower ones senses. Perhaps another year or two to begin to subdue the textural oak component and really bring this wine into phenomenal shape. Very refined with beautifully layered structure, and big fruit that is coming together magnificently and a taste that just seems to go on forever. Ordered more.
Thoroughly enjoy every time I open a bottle from the color, to the nose, the palate and the finish always wonderful, jammy and leave me wanting more!
Needs some time but not as robust of a red as I had hoped
Really, really good! Bold, deep flavor. Dry, without any chewiness at all.
Better than the 11 and an impressive cab mainstay...reliably robust and deliciously fruity without waste or deception.
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