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Friday, December 28, 2012


2010 IX PROPRIETARY RED ESTATE
Napa(release date November 2013)RED97
2011 IX PROPRIETARY RED ESTATE
Napa(release date November 2014)RED94-96
2010 CABERNET SAUVIGNON TYCHSON HILL VYD.
Napa(release date March 2014)RED98
2011 CABERNET SUAVIGNON TYCHSON HILL VYD
Napa(release date March 2015)RED93-95
2010 CARIAD PROPRIETARY RED WINE
Napa(release date March 2014)RED97
2011 CARIAD PROPRIETARY RED WINE
Napa(release date March 2015)RED93-95
2010 IX SYRAH ESTATE
Napa(release date November 2013)RED94+
2011 IX SYRAH ESTATE
Napa(release date November 2014)RED96

Winemaker Allison Tauziet describes 2010 as a year that started later than normal because of a cold March and early April. Conditions returned to normal in June when temperatures increased. There were no heat spikes during the summer, but a period of heat in September allowed the fruit to catch up. The harvest took place between mid to late October. I also revisited the 2011's, which are now preliminary blends. Readers who want to learn more about Colgin might want to take a look at my video interview with Allison Tauziet filmed during the 2012 harvest. This is a striking set of wines from Ann Colgin, her husband Joe Wender, and the entire Colgin team. The 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Tychson Hill opens with a beguiling nose of tar, licorice, black cherries, plums and menthol. Rich, layered and powerful, the 2010 impresses for its massive structure and sheer depth. The 2010 boasts stunning textural resonance and pure power. When I tasted this for the first time, it reminded me of the 2001. It is an almost uncharacteristically huge, powerful Tychson Hill that will require a few years to show at its very best. The 2010 is 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petite Verdot. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2025. Colgin's 2010 Red Wine IX Estate emerges from the glass with super-ripe red cherries, flowers, white truffles, spice box and mint, all in a voluptuous style that captures the very best qualities of the year. In this vintage, the IX Estate boasts a level of generosity that make it slightly more accessible than the Tychson Hill. Sweet, seamless and totally pure, the 2010 is endowed with superb balance and fabulous overall harmony. The 2010 shuts down quickly in the glass and I suspect it may do the same in bottle. Nevertheless, this is a stunning showing. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2025. The 2010 Red Wine Cariad is incredibly shut down at this stage. Dark raspberries, flowers, mint and tar emerge over time, but the Cariad remains quite a bit tighter and more introspective than the other wines in this lineup. At the same time, there is a level of purity in the fruit that is striking. This is the tightest of the estate's 2010s. Accordingly, it will require a few years to open up. This is the lowest percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon ever used in Cariad. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2025.

The 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Tychson Hill is impeccable and pretty in this vintage. To be sure, the 2011 is a bit smaller-scaled than is typically the case but it nevertheless possesses gorgeous balance and plenty of class. My impression is that the 2011 will age well, even if it will always remain a mid-weight wine. Dark red cherries, grilled herbs, tobacco and mint are all layered into the gracious, beautifully finish. This is an impressive showing for the year. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2025. The 2011 Red Wine IX Estate wraps around the palate with gorgeous, expressive fruits, crushed flowers, sweet spices and lovely inner density. Here, the higher elevation of these mountain sites helped keep the fruit dry, resulting in an unusual amount of density and sheer power for the vintage. The 2011 is just as impressive as the component wines were on the two separate occasions I tasted them. I don't quite find the exoticism of the 2010, but this is a fabulous effort just the same. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2026. The 2011 Red Wine Cariad is once again the tightest of the Colgin wines. Today, the 2011 is compact and in need of cellaring, but it is impossible to miss the wine's energy and pure sense of polish. Sweet red berries, mint and cinnamon are layered into the powerful, tense finish. It will be very interesting to see where this goes over the coming years. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2026.

I won't be surprised if the 2011 Syrah IX Estate ends up better than the 2010 as it has plenty of depth and tons of sheer balance. Firm veins of minerality support expressive dark red berries, flowers and exotic spices. Today, the 2011 is understandably fruit-young and fruit-driven in style, but the wine's textural balance and overall sense of harmony are more than enough to look forward to. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025. The 2010 Syrah IX Estate emerges from the glass with sweet red berries, flowers, mint, licorice and earthiness. This is a bit of a compact vintage for the Syrah, even if there is plenty of complexity and character. In the 2010 the Syrah shows its characteristic energy and the personality of Pritchard Hill, but doesn't quite reach the heights of the superb 2009. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025. The 2009 Syrah IX Estate has developed beautifully over the last year. A blast of heady aromas and flavors burst from the glass in a wine endowed with serious depth. The 2009 stands out for its dazzling inner perfume and balance. Sweet spices, licorice, and tobacco all add complexity, while firm mountain tannins frame the saline, focused finish. Although gorgeous today, the 2009 should continue to provide immense pleasure for at least another decade. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2021.

 By Antonio Galloni