Grilled herbs, tobacco, menthol, licorice and plums all take shape in the 2010 Eloge. Rich, layered and expressive, the 2010 is resonant and deeply expressive throughout. Gently spiced notes appear on the finish, adding dimensions of complexity and nuance. Today the 2010 is a bit closed in on itself and a touch compact, while the aromatics aren't quite as precise as they could be. I was deeply impressed with the wines I tasted at Conn Valley this year. The wines are often terrific, but at the same time, they have also occasionally suffered from the presence of brett, something that can add character up to a certain point when it starts to mask the fruit. Under the guidance of new winemaker Robert Hunt the Conn Valley wines seem cleaner, purer and much more expressive, all great things for those of us who love these wines. Conn Valley fans will note an addition to the range with 2012, the Merlot Signature, which now sits next to the Cabernet Sauvignon Signature at the top of the lineup. It is going to be exciting to see how things develop at Conn Valley over the next few years. We may very well be at the beginning of a new chapter for this distinguished, Napa Valley estate. (AG) 93+
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2013 Chateau Ste. Michelle "Cold Creek Vineyard" Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Elsewhere $30)