Colgin Cellars - Press - The Best of Northern California

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Wednesday, December 31, 2008


2006 IX PROPRIETARY RED ESTATE
Napa(release date November 2009)RED100
2007 IX PROPRIETARY RED ESTATE
NapaRED(98-100)
2006 CABERNET SAUVIGNON TYCHSON HILL VYD.
Napa(release date March 2010)RED98
2007 CABERNET SAUVIGNON TYCHSON HILL VYD.
NapaRED (97-100)
2006 CARIAD PROPRIETARY RED WINE
Napa(release date March 2010)RED98
2007 CARIAD PROPRIETARY RED WINE
NapaRED (95-97)
2006 CABERNET SAUVIGNON HERB LAMB VYD.
Napa(release date March 2010)RED96
2007 CABERNET SAUVIGNON HERB LAMB VYD.
NapaRED (96-100)
2006 IX SYRAH ESTATE
Napa(release date November 2009)RED93
2007 IX SYRAH ESTATE
NapaRED(95-97)

Colgin is one of the reference points for just what heights mountain grown Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux varietals, and more recently, Syrah, can achieve in Napa Valley. This beautiful estate and winery overlooking Lake Hennessey is owned by Joe Wender and his wife, Ann Colgin (equally renowned for her auctioneering skills), who are assisted by David Abreu, the well-known Bordeaux wine consultant, Dr. Alain Raynaud, and Allison Tauziet, who has skillfully replaced the brilliant Mark Aubert. As the scores and tasting notes suggest, this was an exceptional tasting.

Colgin's 2006s are among the finest wines produced in the vintage. The dense purple-hued 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Herb Lamb Vineyard exhibits classic notes of crème de cassis, charcoal/creosote, chocolate, and subtle toasty oak along with beautiful ripeness, sweet tannin, and a full-bodied mouthfeel. It is significantly, as well as atypically, more accessible and fleshy than the 2005s, a rarity for these two vintages. The 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Herb Lamb Vineyard is a candidate for perfection. The long growing season, an absence of heat spikes, and moderate yields resulted in an incredibly fruit-driven cuvée revealing black raspberry, blueberry, crème de cassis, smoke, and spring flower-like characteristics. This remarkably elegant Cabernet reveals awesome concentration, texture and length. It should be a modern day legend, lasting for two decades or more. From Colgin's first-growth quality estate vineyard, Tychson Hill, located north of St. Helena, on the western slopes, the 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Tychson Hill Vineyard is performing far better out of the bottle than it did from cask. An extraordinary bouquet of flowers, cedar, tobacco leaf, black currants, blueberries, chocolate, and scorched earth scents is followed by a wine of prodigious concentration, purity, depth, and sweet tannins. An amazing effort for this vintage, it is a compelling bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. Not surprisingly, the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Tychson Hill Vineyard ratchets up the seamlessness, sumptuousness, opulence, and flamboyance. Abundant amounts of blue and purple fruits are interspersed with hints of acacia flowers, crushed rocks, and charcoal. On the palate, there is a fabulous spectrum of red and black fruits as well as superb elegance, and a thrilling combination of power and finesse. While the wine is deep and substantial, it comes across as remarkably accessible, elegant, pure, and well-balanced. This beauty will drink well for 20-25 years.

Colgin's proprietary red wine blend, the 2006 Cariad, is composed of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. It exhibits notes of white chocolate, bay leaf, unsmoked, high class cigar tobacco, and tremendous intensity. The complex aromatics are followed by a full-bodied wine with stunning concentration, richness, and length as well as a personality not dissimilar from a top-notch Bordeaux. While the fruit is clearly Napa grown, the structure suggests a French Médoc. This 2006 will benefit from several more years of bottle age, and should keep for three decades or more. The 2007 Cariad (52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 12% Petit Verdot, and 8% Cabernet Franc) boasts a dense purple color as well as a floral, blackberry, cassis, wet stone, and spice-scented bouquet. A wine of extraordinary purity, it is unformed, primary, and backward, and obviously not yet as evolved and complex as the 2006. However, all the necessary component parts are present, and there is no doubt this 2007 will turn out special. From the Pritchard Hill Vineyard, the 2006 IX Proprietary Red Estate is a blend of 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Petit Verdot. The good news is that there are 1,500 cases of this cuvée. It too, reveals the noble sweetness of tannin, the extraordinary rich intense mouthfeel, and sumptuous aromas of flowers, burning embers, blackberries, blueberries, spice box, and cedar. With extraordinary intensity, beautiful purity, a texture and flavors that build incrementally on the palate, and a significantly long finish, this is a perfect wine. The 2007 IX Proprietary Red Estate (69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot) exhibits the biggest bouquet of all these wines. Terrific blueberry and blackberry fruit intermixed with incense, minerals, espresso, and white chocolate are followed by a wine with staggering concentration yet thrilling balance and symmetry. This is a tour de force in winemaking from a great, great site at an elevation of 900-1,000 feet. It should drink well for 30+ years.

Not to be forgotten are the 400+ cases of Colgin's Estate IX Syrah. The French-styled 2006 IX Syrah Estate offers and exotic nose of roasted meats, bouquet garni, and flowers, silky tannins, and full-bodied blackberry and cherry fruit. Drink it over the next 5-7 years. The 2007 IX Syrah Estate may turn out to be the finest Syrah ever produced in Napa. Made from 100% destemmed fruit, it boasts classic aromas of crème de cassis, blackberries, and flowers, full-bodied opulence, and a flamboyant, exotic personality with stunning concentration as well as balance. Drink this beauty over the next decade.

Previously recommended: 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Herb Lamb Vineyard (94), 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Tychson Hill Vineyard (96+), 2005 Cariad Proprietary Red Wine (96+), 2005 IX Proprietary Red Estate (97), 2005 IX Syrah Estate (95).

Tel (707) 963-0999; Fax (707) 963-0996.

 By Robert M. Parker Jr