Anderson's Conn Valley Eloge 2009 - $81.99 net – 96-98 pts Wine Advocate / 92 pts Wine Advocate
This wine arrives in mid-September. I anticipate it being sold out before arrival. Orders are being processed by the distributor First-Come, First-Served, so please reply to me asap if you are interested.
No… that isn’t a misprint. Robert Parker reviewed the wine in barrel before he turned over tasting duties to Antonio Galloni. Since most of us are still trying to calibrate the tastes of Mr. Galloni, I thought it fair to include both. And there’s lot to consider here…
Parker's reviews of the Conn Valley follow a predictable pattern, with nearly every bottle he's reviewed scoring higher in bottle than it did in barrel. Why? 1) Mountain Fruit has a distinct style - deceptively expressive and accessible, it always shows lighter and less intense than it really is - with a couple of hours of aeration, the cocktail imitators have fallen apart, while the Conn and its mountain brethren are exploding!. It has a power and depth that is only barely glimpsed at. 2) Ageability by design - these wines are tightly wound in youth. Not a good recipe for high ratings in youth.
Exhibit A. Previous reviews of the Conn Eloge
- 2007 was 94-96 pts in barrel – now 98 pts!
- 2006 was reviewed 92-95 pts in barrel, now 95+ pts
- 2005 was rated 90-92 pts in barrel - now 96 pts!
- 2002, 2003 and 2004 - all bottled wines rated out at the top end of the barrel score
Even so, ratings for the wines have continued to climb over the past few years. Why? Is Parker learning? Or are the wines changing style? Well… maybe a little of both, but mostly, I think, simply, the wines have just been getting better. Winemaker Mac Sawyer and owner Todd Anderson have seemingly just ratcheted quality up another notch!
So… if your tastes are calibrated to Robert Parker’s, then you should jump all over this.
Now, enter Mr. Galloni. I can’t say too much because we are just now being able to taste wines and compare our thoughts to his. All I can say is that his ratings, in general, seem to be lower than Parker’s. And it is extremely interesting to note that, in his review of the 2009, he stated, “I preferred the 2009 and 2010 reds to the 2008s among the wines I tasted at Anderson’s Conn Valley with long-time Winemaker Mac Sawyer and General Manager Ronnie Anderson.”
So he preferred this 2009 over the previously rated 96-98 point 2008? Uh… well…
Bottom line for me? I have had every vintage of this wine since 1989. The wines have always been fantastic and the most recent vintages have been obscenely good. If Galloni doesn’t quite “get” the wine, that is a shame for the winery, but a boon to consumers who know and love the wine. Lower scores means the price stays the same… or comes down!
Ok… there you have it. Reviews below. The wine arrives in 2 weeks, but is apparently selling briskly on pre-sale. Please hit reply to order.
“Evidencing perhaps a trifecta of greatness, the 2009 Eloge (65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc, 10% Petit Verdot and 5% Merlot) is clearly the strongest 2009 red wine in the Conn Valley portfolio. Powerful, rich and full-bodied with more density than most 2009s exhibit, the Eloge is a wine of exceptional richness, opulence and intensity. It, too, should age effortlessly for two decades." Robert Parker
"The 2009 Eloge is a gorgeous, supple wine bursting with expressive red fruit, flowers and sweet spices. Here the oak seems better integrated and smoother than in the Cabernet Sauvignon, at least at this stage. Layers of red berries build towards the textured, totally inviting finish. This is a striking effort. In 2009 the blend is 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc, 10% Petit Verdot and 8% Merlot. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2021." Antonio Galloni