Friday, August 17, 2012

Clarendon Hills Clarendon Piggott Range Syrah 2004

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 superb job.

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. 

RM 94 points. 

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."

This winery 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 - Herrick.