Wine clubs and estate wines
One good reason to join a wine club affiliated with a winery is to try an Estate Cabernet Sauvignon or other estate wine. An estate wine is a wine produced and sold where the grapes are grown. It is the type of wine in which the winemaker has the most control over the process, and in making it, the winemaker has the greatest opportunity to display the full extent of his or her skill.
History of an Estate Cabernet
Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards makes its Estate Cabernet Sauvignon from a blend of clonal varieties of Cab grapes grown only on the estate. Let’s look at this history of this distinguished wine, every year of which is expected to be worth preserving for decades.
2007 was a dry year that began with very cold days, which warmed up later in spring but never quite reached the full heat of a proper summer, except for a few days. The result was a dark ruby red wine with an aroma of sweet black fruit and a taste perfectly balanced between fruit, tannins and acidity.
2008 was another dry year, but one that began with heavy storms followed by early frosts and ended with a hot spell in early September. The harvest was smaller than average, but yielded a dark purple wine with many of the same aroma notes as ’07 and a layered mouthfeel and lingering finish.
2009 was a perfect year for winemaking, with optimum conditions prevailing in Napa Valley. Aged in French oak for 22 months, the resulting dense purple wine has a strong cassis aroma with perfumed flowers, loamy earth and concentrated minerals. In the flavor, dark and bright red fruits are tightly woven with earth elements. This wine has a full-bodied mouthfeel and finish.
2010 began cool, but bright sun and high temperatures meant that the vines needed to be allowed to develop a good canopy to protect the grapes. Fortunately, after the last heat wave the vineyard cooled, allowing ripening to be slow and even. The result was a wine to be proud of — dark purple, with an aroma and flavor of dark berries, licorice and smoke balanced with fine tannins.
Since then, the Estate Reserve Cab has continued in this tradition. The 2012 vintage is perhaps the best ever, in abundant quantity with hints of white pepper and orange peel in the flavor.
A vineyard and winery near St. Helena
Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards in Napa Valley, a 10-minute drive from downtown St. Helena, has its own wine club. By agreeing to buy six bottles a year in groups of three, you can get Level I membership with discounts on their wines, tickets to parties and invitations to a complimentary tasting.
The vineyard is a 40-acre estate just south of Howell Mountain, and has been owned and operated by the Anderson family since 1983. Join today.