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by Fred McMillin
for June 20, 2000

 

What Tom Wrought


Prologue

Tom Lane  
"The most important event at Concannon this decade occurred in the spring of 1992; energetic, savvy Tom Lane, (pictured), took over the winemaking."

...from WineDay, March 14, 1997

"My 16 tasters gave Tom's '93 red Assemblage the highest rating of the Bordeaux-varietal blends tasted in 1997."

...from WineDay, Dec. 10, 1997


Deja Vu!

My 11 tasters just gave Tom's '95 red Assemblage the highest rating of the Bordeaux-varietal blends tasted so far in 2000.

We've concluded that Tom has some talent. There was no doubt that he did in the classroom...degrees in Biology and Chemistry...grad studies at two universities...and finally a U.C.-Davis Master's in Enology.

Clearly, he's just as good in the winery. For example, in his fourth year with Concannon he won one hundred and fifty four awards and was selected Winemaker of the Year by the L.A. Times. Let's see what he says about four aspects of this wine, stature, structure, complexity and age-ability.

Stature - 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, the noblest red, from the excellent vines just outside our Tasting Room.

Structure - "l995 proved to be a 'big' year, lots of color and beaucoup tannins, wonderful flavors and spice developed with about two years in the barrel."

Complexity - "We marry Cabernet's power with Cabernet Franc's [12%] forward fruitiness and mellow Merlot's [15%] finesse."

Age-Ability - "This is our biggest structured and flavored Assemblage Red to date. Feel free to cellar it for a couple of years [to] mellow your tannins, marry your fruit, develop that lovely cedar-aged quality and achieve roundness from angularity." No wonder it is our...


Our Wine of the Day

1995 Reserve Red Assemblage, Livermore Valley
Concannon Vineyard
Rating—EXCELLENT
Contact—Office of General Manager Donna Wilcox, (8OO)258-9866, FX (925)456-2511. For more about Donna, see the Dec. 24, 1998 WineDay titled, "Wilcox & Lane, It's Not A Law Firm".
Price—A fine value at $19


Postscript—Flashback

Recently I was pricing the bottles in a cellar a friend had inherited. Among the bottles was a fragile, 1945 Concannon brochure, which confirms that the winery has had good reds for some time. The yellowed pages featured a photo of a California State Fair Gold Medal and Blue Ribbon awarded to the 1938 Concannon California Claret.

 
About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.

 
 


This page created June 2000

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