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by Andrew Chalk

Concannon has a special role in California Cabernet Sauvignon. With over 130 years of history, Concannon Vineyard is proud that an estimated 80% of all California Cabernet Sauvignon comes from their iconic Concannon Clones.

Recently, Concannon held a virtual tasting with three of their Cabernet Sauvignon expressions to commemorate International Cabernet Day. From the winery were James Foster, Winemaker, Heidi Rasmussen, Director of the Concannon Vineyard Estate, and Gregg Gorham, Wine Club Manager.

The wines, with winemaker’s notes, were:

2017 Concannon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon: This wine is a balanced and food friendly Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon made in part from Concannon Clones. Full-bodied with luscious red cherry, black currant, ripe plum and hints of cocoa, and vanilla and spice. It’s the perfect match with a grilled corn and quinoa salad with roasted red peppers.

2017 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon: Grown on the original vineyard where Jim Concannon first planted the Concannon Clone 7, 8 and 11, this wine has aromas of blackberry, fresh plum, vanilla and caramel. Pair it with grilled rib-eye-steak and roasted root vegetables.

2017 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Mother Vine: Mostly from the Mother Vine Cabernet Vineyard with additional grapes from other Estate blocks, this wine has inviting aromas of red fruit, cassis, plum and dark cherry that greet the nose. Sip this wine with a pan seared steak or wild mushrooms stuffed cabbage rolls.

My notes would add….

2017 Concannon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon: I agree with the plum notes in the nose. And I would add that the fruit was very ripe, like raspberry preserves.

2017 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon: The nose had dusty notes, like Rutherford fruit. Lots of French oak vanillin as well.

2017 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Mother Vine: The darkest and most opaque of the three. Most complex palate encompassing cedar, blackberry, licorice, mocha and herbs. Firm tannins imply this wine will likely age for a decade.



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