Colgin Cellars - Wines - Vintages


1996 "Herb Lamb Vineyard"

Notes from the Estate:

Young and intense nose with blackberry, dark cherry, plum, toast and a cool mint top note. Tighter grained tannins imply it will continue to improve and round out in the bottle. Drink now through 2022. Service: Serve straight from the bottle, with care to avoid stirring up the precipitates. Food Pairing: Braised meats.

We released 250 cases of the 1996 Colgin "Herb Lamb Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon in November 1999.

Review by Robert Parker
Wine Advocate #120 (Dec 1998)
Rating: 97 points
Drink 1998-2022
Estimated Cost: Unknown


The saturated black/purple-colored 1996 Cabernet Sauvignon "Herb Lamb Vineyard" displays this winery's hallmark - a provocative nose of blueberry jam, orchid flowers, and smoky new oak intertwined with cassis. Additional aromas of licorice and exotic Asian spices emerge as the wine sits in the glass. Extremely full-bodied and rich, with more noticeable tannin than the 1997, this large-scaled yet extraordinarily rich wine is like drinking cassis/blueberry liqueur. Its sweet tannin and remarkable 40+-second finish are amazing. Anticipated maturity: now-2022.

This wine is aged in 100% new Taransaud barrels for 18 months, and bottled with no fining or filtration.

Release date, 4/99.

Tel. (707) 524-4445


Review by Robert Parker
Wine Advocate #114 (Dec 1997)
Rating: 96-99 points
Drink 1997-2027
Estimated Cost: Unknown


I realize perfection in wine, like perfection in anything, is in the eyes of the beholder, and there are those who believe perfection is simply unobtainable. But in my mind, the 1996 and 1995 come close to perfection. Why? First of all, these extraordinary expressions of Cabernet Sauvignon are awesomely concentrated and endowed, while at the same time elegant and amazingly harmonious. The equilibrium between the wines' component parts - new oak, alcohol, tannin, acidity, and extract - is right on, with nothing out of place. The 1996 and 1995 could be mistaken for identical twins, although close examination reveals that the 1995 has a slightly firmer tannic edge, and the 1996 slightly lower acidity. However, both possess Colgin's tell-tale opaque black/purple color, phenomenal aromatics consisting of blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, cassis, subtle new oak, and a notion of floral scents (is it acacia or lilac?). In the mouth, both wines are full-bodied, remarkably supple and opulent, with a purity and presence of fruit that must be tasted to be believed. Their finishes last for 45+ seconds. I suspect each of these wines will get even better over the next 5-10 years before reaching their full plateau of maturity, where they should remain for two decades or more. They are the quintessential examples of Cabernet Sauvignons that marry power with elegance. As a friend said after tasting a Colgin Cabernet Sauvignon, "they float like a butterfly, but sting like a bee." I am not sure Mohammad Ali or Ann Colgin would agree with that, but it paints another picture of these extraordinary wines. These wines are made by Helen Turley, the prodigiously talented winemaker/consultant.

Once again, the only way in which to purchase these wines is via the winery's mailing list. As a postscript, Ann Colgin has acquired a new vineyard called Tychson Hill, which is superbly situated near the Grace Family Vineyard adjacent to route 29 north of St. Helena, so additional Cabernet will be forthcoming in several years.

Tel. (707) 524-4445


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Herb Lamb Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon