Thursday, May 31, 2018

Conn Valley Vineyards Right Bank Cuvee 2005

Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards Napa Valley Right Bank Cuvee 2005

Celebrating the closing of a record month and our largest deal of the year, and recovering from nearly a week of bronchitis, I pulled from the cellar this dozen year old Right Bank Cuvee (Bordeaux Blend) to complement grilled pork chops and baked sweet potatoes dinner.

Conn Valley Vineyards are located on the eastern slopes of the Vaca Range that abut Napa Valley overlooking the town of St Helena, just south of Howell Mountain. The property has been owned and operated by the Anderson family since 1983 who released their first wine in 1987. They are primarily known for Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, a series of Bordeaux Blends in their flagship 'Éloge' and this Right Bank labels, they also produce popular and well known Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc wines. We own about a half dozen vintages of this label allowing me to select a thirteen year old for tonight's dinner. 

The term Right Bank of course refers to the Right Bank or upper eastern side of the diagonal flowing Gironde River that bisects the City and wine region of Bordeaux in southwest France. Wines produced on that side are generally predominantly Merlot based, while those on the opposing South and Westerly Left Bank are built on a foundation and backbone of Cabernet Sauvignon. In each case the Bordeaux Blend includes the opposing varietal along with accents of Cabernet Franc and in some cases Petit Verdot or Malbec in small portions.

Hence, according to its name, this Right Bank Cuvee is 70% Merlot accented by 30% Cabernet Franc, an ideal blend to accompany the grilled Pork Chop dinner, the Merlot being slightly softer than the more structured and tannic Cabernet Sauvignon, which would go better with grilled beef steak.

At thirteen years of age, this was showing no signs of diminution whatsoever with bright tangy vibrant berry and cherry fruits. Still lots of life left in this vintage release. Dark garnet colored, medium bodied, smoother and lighter due to the Merlot base, slightly layered and complex, the tangy expressive red berry and cherry fruits were accented by exotic spice from the Cab Franc spice influences, hints of leather and tobacco leaf, with moderate, approachable soft tannins and a smooth sinewy lingering finish.

RM 91 points.