Colgin Cellars - Press - Focus on California's North Coast (2006)

Focus on California's North Coast (2006)

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Thursday, June 01, 2006

Stephen Tanzer's Tasting Notes for May/June 2006

Colgin Cellars

I'm happy to report that the syrah at this mountaintop estate overlooking Lake Hennessey is delivering on its early promise, showing superb breadth and complexity of flavor and more freshness than a wine at its level of pH (normally at least 3. 9) has any right to show. Colgin's collection of 2003 cabernet-based wines has turned out extremely well, and the young 2004s promise even greater richness. Winemaker Mark Aubert seeks to harvest in the high 26o-28o brix range, but noted that there was no watering back of the must in 2003.

2003 Colgin Cellars Syrah IX Estate Napa Valley
($125) Good deep medium ruby. Aromatic nose offers raspberry, violet, gunflint and pepper. Dense and ripe but dry, with a lovely floral quality permeating the palate. Less complex in the mouth today than on the nose, with firm-edged acidity currently keeping the youthful fruit under wraps. But finishes with fine tannins and impressive length.

2004 Colgin Cellars Syrah IX Estate Napa Valley
Deep ruby. Brooding aromas of black raspberry, mocha and licorice, with tobacco and saline nuances. Wonderfully sweet and broad in the mouth; really saturates the palate with dark fruit flavors. Very suave syrah, finishing with huge but lush tannins. This was still on its lees in early April and had never been racked. Offers great potential.

2003 Colgin Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Herb Lamb Vineyard
Deep ruby-red. Deep aromas of black raspberry and mocha, with a suggestion of maple syrup. Densely packed and sweet, with enticing flavors of raspberry, black cherry and minerals. Finishes with substantial ripe tannins.

2003 Colgin Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Tychson Hill Napa Valley
Good full ruby. Superripe, broad nose dominated by black raspberry; slightly liqueur-like. Sweet, lush and fat but kept firm by an edge of acidity. The wine's substantial, broad tannins arrive late, allowing the fruit to open impressively on the back end. As extravagantly rich and ripe as this is, there's no shortage of verve. A knockout. Today this wine was the most impressive of this outstanding collection of '03s.

2003 Colgin Cellars Cariad Napa Valley
Good deep ruby-red. Aromas of blackcurrant, licorice, mocha and menthol offer great lift. Then superripe and densely packed, with great sweetness and inner-mouth aromatic character. The flavors of black cherry and leather are given definition by a strong element of liquid stone. Finishes extremely long, with lush, suave tannins.

2003 Colgin Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon IX Estate Napa Valley
($175) Ruby-red. Explosive aromas of black raspberry, minerals, graphite and flowers. Wonderfully sweet and dense, with a superripe suggestion of maple syrup and a note of hot rocks. Finishes with huge, chewy but well-buffered tannins and a lingering note of caramel. Perhaps the least lively today of these 2003s, but winemaker Aubert notes that the 2003 vintage in general here brought higher-than-average acidity..

2004 Colgin Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Herb Lamb Vineyard
Good deep ruby. Black raspberry, dark chocolate and an intriguing earth note on the nose. Sweet, densely packed and a bit imploded, with the black raspberry flavor dominating in the mouth. Roasted, sexy wine, finishing with huge but fine-grained tannins and outstanding smoky persistence. This may give the outstanding 2002 a run for its money. The Colgins, working with vineyardist David Abreu, took over farming of this vineyard with the 2004 growing season.

2004 Colgin Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Tychson Hill Napa Valley
Good full ruby-red. Superripe aromas of black cherry, black raspberry, graphite and road tar. Sweet, thick and downright voluptuous; wonderfully layered and large-scaled cabernet. The wine's suave, lush tannins make it remarkably user-friendly even from barrel. Hugely rich wine, finishing with notes of roasted fruits and mocha.

2004 Colgin Cellars Cariad Napa Valley
Good full ruby. Black cherry, black raspberry, smoked meat, tar and shoe polish on the nose; like a Medoc wine on steroids. Then superconcentrated and sweet but not at all roasted or hot. In fact, this claret-like 2004 is currently dominated by its powerful structure and seems a bit youthfully tight-a positive sign for its likely evolution in bottle. Finishes extremely long, with slowly building tannins and a lingering flavor of dark raspberry.

2004 Colgin Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon IX Estate Napa Valley
Good deep ruby-red. Cooler, minerally aromas of black cherry and licorice. Superconcentrated but imploded today, with lovely energy to its impressive core of fruit. Finishes with big, building tannins and outstanding length.

 By Stephen Tanzer