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2016 Ghost Horse Chardonnay
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Community tasting notes ( 1 ) avg score: 89 points.
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3/21/2021 - Mortgage92 wrote: 89 Points
At $400.00 per bottle, we are going to document this wine! In regards to color, this wine is greenish-gold with slow legs and a medium length and body. The texture is leathery, yes leathery (my wife said "this is a chardonnay that is trying to be a cab") - that sums up the texture. Aromas of lime, pear and flint with flavors of pear, lime and honeydew (in that order). I will firmly state that this wine has a long way to go, so if you are cellaring....keep it there for at least 5 more years! We may have drank this too early.
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- Vintage 2016
- Producer Ghost Horse
- Variety Chardonnay
- Designation n/a
- Vineyard n/a
- Country USA
- Region California
- SubRegion Napa Valley
- Appellation Napa Valley
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- In Cellars (77%) 27
- Consumed (23%) 8
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Ghost Horse Vineyards 3 Items
- Napa Valley
- Standard (750ml)
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- Older Vintages 1
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Todd Anderson has been making world-renowned wines in Napa Valley for ...
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The Napa Wine Project
The Official Wine Club of the Napa Wine Project!
Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards
Review by Dave Leave a Comment
Todd Anderson & his father Gus originally built the winery and planted the vineyards from scratch; Todd has a degree in Geology from the University of Pacific in Stockton. He was the winemaker for many years until the business grew to the extent that he had to hire a winemaker (and now employs a small winemaking team).
The winery dates from 1983 with their first commercial vintage in 1987. When the Anderson’s initially looked at this property it was not for sale (despite their interest in purchasing it). However, the Anderson’s persevered and eventually were able to acquire the 40-acre site. As of our latest update to this review, they typically produce around 6,000 cases per year. Two sets of caves are on the property – the primary cave houses Anderson’s Conn Valley and the smaller one was used for many years by Todd’s father Gus (who died in 2016 at age 86) for his own winery Eagle’s Trace (no longer producing). The lower cave (tends to be slightly cooler than the upper cave) and is now used for their white wine production.
And Todd and his father are not the only winemakers in the family; Todd’s son Mike runs the cleverly named MGTA Cellars (using the first initial of his name, his father and his grandfather).
Hospitality Visitors to the property will sometimes be hosted by Todd (who strikes a larger than life pose and personality at 6’5″ and is often wearing his trademark black cowboy hat), but more likely by one of their hospitality staff or sometimes their winemaker. Visits are personalized experiences which can last a long time – depending on who provides your tasting experience. If your tasting is with Todd, the conversation flows effortlessly, and tastings can often last several hours.
If you do not want to be rushed, set aside several hours for a visit. The focus of their quick tour is educational – visitors are shown part of the vineyards, wine production facilities (the original winery is an old barn the family converted) and the main cave. Guests are treated to a wide variety of wines from bottle and sometimes from barrel – while relaxing and seated in a small alcove in the larger of the two caves.
The hosts create a welcoming environment and enjoy answering questions about wine making, production, growing grapes and really anything related to wine.
Wines/Winemaking Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards produces wines from both their estate vineyard as well as purchased fruit from select vineyards in the Napa Valley. Several of their plantings came from budwood secured from iconic vineyards in the valley including formerly Silver Oak’s Bonny’s Vineyard in Oakville and the Eisele Vineyard in Calistoga. Their wines are food friendly, balanced with great acidity – especially their whites. Some of their smaller production wines are only available for tasting or purchase through visits to the winery.
A current release Chardonnay is typically offered during the tasting. They were one of the first wineries in the valley to inhibit secondary fermentation (malolactic fermentation) on their Chardonnays – with the intent to create a wine that does not have overt buttery characteristics or is creamy in texture. A byproduct of secondary fermentation is diacetyl which can cause the buttery flavors in wines. During one visit with Todd, he told us often guests tell him they don’t like Chardonnay but after trying his Chardonnay, they decide they do in fact enjoy Chardonnay.
The 2018 Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards Sarah’s Cuvee 100% varietal Sémillon (also from this old block in Yountville). Shows aromas of dried straw, and a sweetness as the wine opens further including honeysuckle. Still a bit closed aromatically at the time of our tasting and needs time to open to tease out the aromatics. Rounded on the palate with mouthwatering acidity – flavors of kiwi and green apple. A brightness lingers all the way until the end.
The “Right Bank” red wine is always a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc; the 2017 Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards Right Bank is 56% Cabernet Franc and 44% Merlot. Shows pretty fruit on the bouquet including plum, dark cherry, dark raspberry, licorice, mocha and hints of cedar. Features dark fruit on the palate with tannins that fit nicely into the wine’s profile – no harsh edges here. Lingers with a smoky tobacco note, cedar and white pepper.
Eloge is their Bordeaux styled red blend – with a backbone of predominately Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2017 Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards Eloge is a blend of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot. Offers fruit forward aromatics including of blackberry and boysenberry, tinged with some secondary aromatics including hints of tobacco, dessert spices and some dust nuances. Has some weight – this wine is juicy across the palate, has plenty of complexity without being heavy. Slightly savory with mouthwatering acidity. Darker tannins linger with some grip and notes of tobacco leaf and cracked peppercorn. And Eloge in French translates to “praiseworthy” in English.
The 2016 Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards Gustaf Cabernet Franc is 86% Cabernet Franc and 14% Merlot. It is dark ruby in color – offers catchy aromatics of dark spice, pepper, tobacco, dried rose petal and blackberry. Plenty of depth with mouthwatering acidity. Both red and darker fruits – but more high-toned flavors. The tannins are broadly distributed granular and somewhat dry tannins. The texture is a lovely attribute of this wine.
The Signature Cabernet Sauvignon is a barrel selection that differs each year depending on the vintage. The 2012 Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards Signature Cabernet Sauvignon (100% varietal) shows darker fruit notes on the bouquet along with a spicy toasted oak component. As the wine breathes a tinge of mocha creeps onto the bouquet. This wine reflects higher toned fruit with good acidity which is noticeable on the mouthwatering finish. Offers flavors of red cherry and black currant along with firm slightly chewy tannins which linger for quite some time.
The Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is the first wine that was produced back in the 1980s (for several years they only produced this one wine). The 2016 Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards Estate Reserve is dark ruby in color with an appealing bouquet including some floral notes (rose petal and violets). Somewhat briary and somewhat savory. The palate has plenty of complexity and depth for serious Cabernet Sauvignon enthusiasts with a firm unyielding grip of tannins that persist – along with notes of cedar and some dark spiciness including cracked peppercorn. Plenty of density in this wine. Sees about 60% new French oak.
Ghost Horse Vineyards Todd also runs one of the most prestigious and limited production Napa area wine brands called Ghost Horse Vineyards (first vintage was from 2000); these wines are usually sought out by extremely wealthy collectors including both domestic and international buyers. Todd counts the production of Ghost Horse Vineyards each year in bottles rather than cases.
The tiny vineyard for this wine (all the reds) is located in Coombsville (southern part of Napa Valley) and encompasses slightly less than 2 planted acres. All the wines from this vineyard for the Ghost Horse label are 100% variety. Despite the vineyards’ size – tiny sub blocks are harvested separately creating each of the Ghost Horse wines.
For many years Ghost Horse was only available through personal relationships with Todd and visiting the winery; in more recent years he selectively distributes the wine to several high-end restaurants and resorts in Las Vegas.
Serious collectors can visit the winery and choose from a variety of exclusive Ghost Horse tasting and experience options including a BBQ, various dinners and a Library tasting featuring older vintages. Membership to this wine club is very exclusive and ensures one has access to a variety of interesting perks including participating with Todd in some of his adventures such as auto racing, downhill skiing, cigar smoking and other experiences. There are two tiers of membership to this wine club, one starts at $500,000 and the other is a million dollars. When people come to the Napa Valley – mentioning the price of these two-tiered wine club membership is always a good conversation piece.
Be sure to ask Todd about the many worldwide wine events that he hosts or participates in. He keeps a travel schedule that would bring younger men to their knees. For more information about Ghost Horse Vineyards visit: www.ghosthorseworld.com and the Anderson’s Conn Valley website here: www.connvalleyvineyards.com
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The Most Expensive Napa Valley Wines Ever Sold
- by WINECOUNTRY STAFF
- on JUNE 13, 2016
Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon 1992 — $500,000
Image Source: World of Fine Wine
Inglenook cabernet sauvignon 1941 — $24,675.
Image Source: K&L Wines, Inglenook Yelp
Sine qua non black & blue 1992 — $3,703.
Image Source: Cult Wine
Ghost horse vineyards “fantome” cabernet sauvignon 2010 — $1,000.
Image Source: Ghost Horse World
Harlan estate cabernet sauvignon — $800 to $1,200.
Image Source: K&L Wines, Harlan Estate
Grace family vineyards — $700 to $800.
Image Source: Grace Family Vineyards
Bryant family vineyard cabernet — $600 to $800.
Image Source: Bryant Family Vineyard
Sloan proprietary red — $600 to $700.
Image Source: Sloan Estate
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FOR SERIOUS INQUIRIES, CALL TODD - 707-287-3510.