Enjoying wine - perspectives on wine buying, collecting, tasting, a study in wine marketing & branding; observations, experiences and ruminations of a winegeek & frequent traveler. Sharing so others can 'unwindwine' for greater wine discovery, understanding and appreciation.
Clarendon Hills Clarendon Piggott Range Syrah 2004, Conn Creek Anthology 2008
The Capital Grill offers a quality carefully selected
variety of wines.
For our anniversary dinner we chose the Capital Grille
(Lombard) where we knew we could match our most favored wine with a
comparable dinner and entrees for a memorable dining experience. We took
two exquisite bottles we were anxious to taste, secure in the knowledge
their spectacular wine list could match our selections if need be.
Planning on a perfectly grilled steak I took along a mouthwatering wine
to match - Clarendon Hills Clarendon Piggott Range Syrah 2004.
We first tasted this wine during our Napa Valley Wine Experience 2003,
when AJ brought a 1997 bottle BYOB to Bistro Jeanty in Yountille, Napa
Valley with friends, AJ and Liat. I still remember it as one of the
richest, most polished and full flavored Syrahs I had ever tasted. With
this backdrop, I chose this for our anniversary celebration dinner. We
also took along a Plumpjack Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1995
in remembrance of our memorable visit to the winery where we tasted and
purchased this wine. Indeed, the fabulous Capital Grill cellar
(shown above) offered this wine albeit from the 2008 vintage. The
atmosphere, dinner and service were spectacular fitting every
expectation for this special occasion. Jay was our server and did a
We feasted on the the Piggott Range,
a spectacular complement to my perfectly 'Pittsburgh' prepared Sirloin
and Linda's sliced Filet of Beef. It exhibited a rich dark purple color,
full bodied, and full smooth polished aromas and flavors of
raspberries, blueberry, blueberries and smoked meat with notes of
spice and floral elements with hints of oak with nicely integrated silky
tannins on the lingering finish.
This luscious Australian Syrah was given a 96 point rating by Robert Parker, stating "A
superstar effort, it reveals off-the-chart richness, complexity and
intensity. Floral-scented, exhibiting a distinctive minerality along
with wonderful blackberry and cassis fruit, and a hint of wood. The
mid-palate and finish are both long, textured and intense. It needs 2-3
years of bottle age and should keep for a minimum of 2 decades."
Clarendon Hills is the namesake of the town and area around Clarendon
which was established in 1845.
Many of the vineyards surrounding the winery are over seventy
years old; the gnarly and twisted bush vines are dry farmed and the
grapes are hand picked. The soil profiles of each vineyard are very
different with the Piggott Range known for the rock and shale. This is a
hillside vineyard planted
in the 1960's adjacent to the Onkaparinga Valley. The soil there is
notable by it's absence rather predominant with solid rock and shale
torturing the vine roots to reach deep for nutrients to survive. Low
yields rarely exceeding two tonnes/acre produce deeply rich fruit with
firm structure and tannins.
To accompany the after dinner dessert medley, Capital Grill served us Conn Creek Anthology Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2008. Garnet
colored, medium bodied, moderately complex, smooth and polished, the
Anthology complements the chocolate and fruit petit fores with berries
and floral violets turning to black cherry and mocha flavors with
refined tannins on the long, lingering finish.
RM 89 points.
Blend: 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Malbec, 11% Merlot, 7% Petite Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc
Conn Creek located in the historic Rutherford district
along the Silverado Trail has been producing Napa Valley wines since the
mid-1970's. Their flagship, Anthology is named for a Greek word that
refers to a collection of literary
or artistic works akin to its Bordeaux blend made from a collection of
Napa Valley’s notable vineyards and
diverse AVAs for growing Bordeaux varieties.Grapes are sourced from
nearly all of Napa Valley’s appellations to provide great variety and
options in crafting Conn Creek's flagship wine.
The 2008 Anthology includes vineyard lots selected from the following
appellations: Cabernet Sauvignon from Atlas Peak - Stagecoach Vineyard,
Stags Leap District, Howell Mountain - Hughes Vineyards, St. Helena -
Collins Vineyard, Oakville - Stanton Vineyard, Calistoga - Surber &
Frediani Vineyards, Yountville - Herrick Vineyard, Carneros - Truchard
Vineyard, and Mount Veeder: Cabernet Franc from St. Helena - Carpenter
Vineyard, Atlas Peak - Stagecoach Vineyard, and Spring Mountain; Merlot
from St. Helena - Collins Vineyard, and Atlas Peak - Stagecoach; Petit
Verdot from Yountville - Tall Trees; and Malbec from Yountville -