For our dinner this past week with Todd Anderson of Anderson's Conn Valley, Todd offered us a special treat - magnums of Cabernet Reserve from 1999! Yahoo!!!
Anderson's Conn Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 1999 in Magnum - $119.99 net
As I have opined before, Anderson's Cabernet Sauvignon requires time to strut its stuff. A lot of it. When young, the wines offer an immense amount of tannins. This is mountain Cab - dense, intense fruit balanced by firm, long tannins. Almost universally, the initial reviews for the wines are lower than when they are revisited years later. That's because with age, the edges soften, the tannins meld with the fruit, and paradoxically, the wine seems richer and more lush.
Of course, you've kind of had to take my word for it... until now! Here we have a library release, 13 years after vintage, of magnums stored perfectly in the winery's mountain cave. Initially rated 90 pts by Robert Parker, I have no doubt this wine merits a higher mark in its present state.
I've been lucky to have this bottling twice from 750 mls and the magnums are even more spectacular. There's something about the way a wine ages in a magnum - there is more fruit, more complexity... hmm.... Complex aromas rise from the glass - earthy cedar and cigar box - classic aged Cabernet characteristics... then, with a little air (after all, this baby has been sealed up for a dozen years!)... whoosh... lush, remarkably juicy fruit - blackberries, currants - melded seamlessly with hints of anise and spice. There's still plenty of tannins to back this up, too, making this a killer match for all things meat.
For under $60 in a 750ml equivalent, this is a perfect option for a holiday get-together. Ready to go, and not breaking the bank...
And knowing Conn the way I do, I'd easily wager this will continue to improve and drink well for another 7-10 years. Maybe start a tradition... one each year!
"The 1999 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is a dense purple-colored offering revealing impressive notes of cedar wood, spice box, black currants, licorice, and earth, noticeable but ripe tannin, and a long, heady, concentrated finish with plenty of power and fruit in reserve. However, patience is required. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2020." 90 pts Wine Advocate in 2002