by Fred McMillin
for December 10, 1997

Tom's Touch

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

...from WineDay, March 14, 1997 by Fred McMillin

The Rest of the Story: No way, Jose! Wine Q didn't have a chance of winning the last blind tasting. There were 19 competitors, six of which were more expensive, including some fine French bottles. Yet Wine Q DID win substantially, getting 12% more votes than the second best of the tasting, a big-name, $28 Cab. Not only that, my 16-member consumers' panel gave it the highest rating of any Meritage (California blend of Bordeaux varietals) wine they've tasted this year.

Tom Lane made Wine Q, and here's how he did it, in his own words. "From a week of blending, this bottling came forth. Cabernet Sauvignon from just outside the tasting room supplied the base for our blend. For spice, body and complexity, eight additional vineyard lots were squeezed in, including a dash of Reserve 1992 mellowed Cabernet Franc, and a skosh of fruity, new 1994 Merlot."

The Wine:
1993 "Assemblage" Reserve, Central Coast
Concannon Vineyard, Livermore, CA
Tasting Notes—Silky power
Rating—Excellent
Food Affinities—Gentle enough for veal, intense enough for beef.
Price—Would you believe, only $17.

Postscript: About Tom's touch, last year his wines won an astonishing ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY FOUR awards. Little wonder that L.A. Times authority Dan Berger selected Tom as the Winemaker of the Year.


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 and is Northern California Editor for American Wine on the Web. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.


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