A lifelong love of wines from the Northern Rhone inspired the decision to plant clones from Cote-Rotie and Hermitage in the rocky, volcanic soil “IX Estate.”

The resulting wine is one of uncommon merit, with nuances of blackberry, acacia, wild herbs, and smoked meats. “IX Estate” Syrah is often regarded as “one of the most unique Syrah’s being made in California today”.

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Vintage Character High-Level Notes Delicious Now,
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Full Notes &
Conditions
Full Notes & Conditions
2018 untamed Plum, toasted coriander seed, juicy, warm, roasted pork belly *

Character

untamed

High-Level Notes

Plum, toasted coriander seed, juicy, warm, roasted pork belly

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Tasting Notes

The 2018 "IX Estate" Syrah attracts with alluring notes of violets, plum, and licorice. Warmed spice notes of toasted coriander seed, white pepper, and salt brine entice a sip and are complemented by salivating notes of smoked bacon. Deep, yet elegantly textured tannins frame the palate with a voluminous and juicy finish.

Climatic Conditions

The 2018 growing season in Napa Valley will be remembered for its mild weather throughout the year. The dormant season of winter, however, began with an unusually dry spell. Half of the rain we received did not arrive until after March 1st. A modest 20 inches in total, slightly below our average. By mid-April, the rains ceased and a contented season in the vineyard unfolded. Perhaps the biggest challenge to the entire season was the burgeoning grasses on the vineyard floor, a sign of the healthy soils.

Weather in May was cool, giving us moderate growth of the vines. A few sprinkles of rain occurred at the tail end, causing some flowers to shatter during bloom, resulting in looser clusters at harvest. Temperatures for the remainder of the season were incredibly mild. Much like 2013 and 2016, there was only 1 day over 100 degrees at the IX Estate for the entire year.

The first fruit was harvested the last week in September and was followed by a rain event in the first days of October. Drying winds coupled with our timely removal of leaves enhanced airflow around the clusters. After a one week pause, we began harvesting once again the second week of October. The photogenic clusters harvested in 2018 had dark blue plump berries rich in flavor.

The wines of this vintage are classic and pure, with a spectrum of flavor and are aromatically pixelated. They exhibit an intellectual character which displays distinct moods with time in the glass. Counter to some vintages, the 2018’s transform from savory aromatics into deeply fruity aromatics rather than vice versa. As they open, their well-defined, firm tannins evolve into a very full, velvety texture.

2017 elated Dried flowers, fruit preserves, black olives, pleasing, provocative *

Character

elated

High-Level Notes

Dried flowers, fruit preserves, black olives, pleasing, provocative

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Tasting Notes

The 2017 “IX Estate” is a myriad of intricate flavors. Combining floral aromatics of dried potpourri, violets, and mandarin zest with hints of white pepper, saucisson, and niçoise olive, the 2017 “IX Estate” Syrah is both savory and luscious. Pleasurable notes of ripe blackberry and black licorice beguile the senses. The suave, layered tannins on the palate lead to an extraordinarily long and decadent finish.

Climatic Conditions

The 2017 vintage began with double the average rainfall in winter, refilling the water reserves and delaying the beginning of the season. Warm weather in late April triggered a beautiful, rapid flowering and an extended heat wave in late May forced vines to taper off growth and focus efforts on the berries. The summer of 2017 experienced a few intense heat events, whose ultimate effect on our sites was to minimize the berry size and enhance concentration of the fruit. The balance between the canopy and the fruit in 2017 was unlike other years in that the lusher than normal green shoots and leaves of springtime added extra protection to the crop during the frequent heat waves. Harvest began in the middle of September with cold nights and sunny days and continued at a rapid pace until its completion on October 6th.
In 2017, thoughtful decisions about canopy management, irrigation, crop thinning and picking dates led Colgin to craft wines that enhance the strengths of this growing season, such as its aromatic complexity, greater natural acidity and pleasurable structure- qualities that will guarantee a long evolution in bottle. In the near term, the 2017 vintage wines express an inward nature. They hold within them a resilient spirit and reflect the character of all vintages that precede them, with perfume, freshness and minerality taking center stage.

2016 reflective Chamomile, blood orange, graphite, taut, sanguine *

Character

reflective

High-Level Notes

Chamomile, blood orange, graphite, taut, sanguine

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Tasting Notes

The aromas of the 2016 “IX Estate” Syrah exemplify the strikingly coastal feel of the growing season. The bouquet offers delicious flavors of black cherry and dark licorice, alongside wild notes of game meats, niçoise olives, and sea breeze. Hints of graphite and cracked pepper reveal themselves subtly. The viscous texture of this wine is tempered beautifully by a bright acidity with a markedly saline feel. Flavors fill the palate, ensuring this delicious wine will become even more captivating over time.

Climatic Conditions

The winter of 2016 began with steady rainfall, bringing small doses over the entire winter and ending with a very rainy beginning of March. Following a sequence of drought vintages beginning in 2012, the wet winter brought a final reprieve from dry conditions. Budbreak arrived shortly thereafter as vines began a season that restored balance to vine and soil health. Steady shoot growth followed in April, and warm weather took hold in May during the blooming period. This healthy start to the season was a blessing, but the incredible weather that followed in the summer and fall would become the story of the vintage. We began harvest under foggy conditions in the middle of September. The mild nature of the remainder of the season would serve to retain flavor nuances and accumulate heightened amounts of color in the grape skins. Fruit condition over the entirety of harvest was impeccable. Supple skinned berries bursting with flavor and color extracted to form wines of freshness and vibrancy with an intensely harmonious palate. The wines of the 2016 vintage are thrilling and multifaceted- every nuance of delectable fruit is matched by vivid notes of each distinctive terroir.

2015 fundamental Licorice, crushed plum, tar, oyster shells, succulent *

Character

fundamental

High-Level Notes

Licorice, crushed plum, tar, oyster shells, succulent

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Tasting Notes

The 2015 “IX Estate” Syrah intrigues the senses in this delectable expression of the vintage. Notes of ripe plum, macerated cherries, and anise tempt the nose. Chocolate and orange liqueur entice the palate yet are tempered by notes of cracked pepper and sea salt. The 2015 “IX Estate” Syrah is brimming with rich, full flavors that lead into an incredibly rich texture on the palate. The 2015 Syrah exemplifies the palpable energy in this electric vintage, where the warmth of the season intensifies the vibrant flavors of the “IX Estate.”

Climatic Conditions

2015 continues the streak of exquisite vintages produced from the extended drought that began in 2013 in the Napa Valley. Much of the rain for the 2015 season came before winter even began. A long delay until early February followed, when a large storm came bringing mainly surface runoff. These alternating wet and dry conditions, combined with a warm winter, led to an early bud break at the beginning of March. A long, cool spring ensued bringing sporadic growing conditions leading into bloom. Uneven weather during flowering led to very light clusters with few berries, thus ensuring a small crop. What began as a challenge, ultimately resulted in a blessing. The small crop with tiny berries ripened quickly over the warm summer and fall, bringing fruit with vivid color and exciting levels of flavor. We crafted the 2015 vintage at Colgin with an emphasis on preserving the aromatic exuberance of the wines. The lush textures and inky color in the nascent wines guided us toward gentler extraction that would preserve the wine’s balance and let the energy shine through.

2014 tempting Blackberry, plum, ink, graphite, richness with nuance *

Character

tempting

High-Level Notes

Blackberry, plum, ink, graphite, richness with nuance

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Tasting Notes

The 2014 “IX Estate” Syrah has an enticingly seductive perfume of tangerine that is complemented by aromas of dark chocolate, dried flowers, and white pepper. Saline notes of oyster shell and tapenade are interwoven with iron mineral notes from the “IX Estate” volcanic soils. Flavors of blackberry cobbler, grilled steak fat, and cured meats have a rich texture on the first sip. The palate is enveloped with smooth and deeply layered tannins.

Climatic Conditions

The wines of 2014 have an immense sense of purity. The mild weather of the 2014 vintage produced wines with sophistication that beautifully balance elegance with true power. The superbly delineated flavors are both fresh and fully ripe. A harmonious quality is apparent in the suave texture of these wines. The 2014 vintage seductively draws you in, then piques your curiosity and keeps you returning repeatedly for more. The 2014 season followed the unseasonably dry 2013 vintage and began with one of the driest Januarys in recent history. It wasn’t until February came that we received the bulk of our wet weather. Despite all the references to a drought, what perhaps made an even bigger imprint on the 2014 season was the warmth we experienced in the winter. As both factors combined we began one of the earliest growing seasons since 2005. As spring and summer unfolded, we saw marginally warmer temperatures all year long and yet we experienced very few heat waves. The vines set a beautiful crop, and it was no surprise that 2014 led to one of our earliest harvests, beginning on August 29th. Berries were plump and fresh as they were harvested. As the wines evolved in the cellar, we observed how their flavors span a broad spectrum- from powerful dark fruits, to classic and subtle Napa Valley herbal and earth notes, reminiscent of an earlier era. With their silky textures developing over the course of the fermentation, we extracted the wines using longer, slower macerations, adding to their nuance and length. The 2014 vintage comes in a sequence of stellar vintages. Following the classic structure of the 2012 and the concentrated nature of the 2013 vintages, the 2014 stands apart from its predecessors in that it captures the supple dense qualities of a warm vintage, married with the perfumed characteristics of a cooler vintage. Such qualities harken back to great vintages like 2005, and even further back to the age worthy 1995, as witnessed in our 1995 Colgin “Herb Lamb.”

2013 exotic Purple fruits, white flowers, grilled meats, plump *

Character

exotic

High-Level Notes

Purple fruits, white flowers, grilled meats, plump

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Tasting Notes

With its tantalizing interplay of sweet and savory, the 2013 "IX Estate" Syrah exhibits the hallmarks of a memorable vintage. With a captivating perfume of red raspberry and crushed rocks, this vibrant nose is interspersed with scents of peppered meats and barbecue spice rub. Scents of the IX Estate garrigue, like the native sage and fresh bay laurel leaves, bring even more complexity to this powerfully concentrated wine. The iron component of the weathered volcanic soils at IX Estate lends a strong note of pure minerality into the wine. The vivid red flavors fill the palate along with perfectly plush tannins that are salivating and satisfying. This vintage of Syrah has an incredible viscosity on the palate that helps carry the aromas into a long persistent finish.

Climatic Conditions

With an ideal blend of cool and warm weather at the right time, the 2013 vintage gave us perfectly ripened fruit with wonderfully preserved flavors. What was perhaps atypical of 2013 was the rainfall pattern, as we were in the second year of a drought; beyond January, we had no rain. In a sense, the 2013 season was "made to order." By mid-September, we reached a pattern of sunny and mild weather, by which point the berries had attained an unbelievable intensity of flavor, color, and tannin. With fruit so rich in flavor and texture, we found the wines extracted very effortlessly and thus the balance between power and elegance in the 2013 vintage was achieved with shorter macerations in the cellar.

2012 brave Dried fruits, gamy, exotic, raspberry, succulent *

Character

brave

High-Level Notes

Dried fruits, gamy, exotic, raspberry, succulent

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Tasting Notes

The floral perfume nuance that defines the “IX Estate” Syrah is truly vibrant in the 2012 vintage. Jasmine, orange blossom, niçoise olive, and herbes de provence notes captivate the nose. Subtle smoky notes add a savory essence to the wine’s signature black fruit. The floral, fruit, spice, and earth elements are so intertwined that the aroma is seductive and beguiling. The are rich and exquisite, making this a luxurious wine on the palate. The concentration and structure ensure that there is much evolution ahead for this aromatic and opulent wine.

Climatic Conditions

The 2012 begins a series of three exceptional vintages for the Napa Valley. The 2012 season was quite temperate and long, and began with moderate rainfall, much of which fell during early March. Small rain events occurred in April, which helped to nurture the soil, and by mid-May we had steady beautiful weather. The climatic conditions were so ideal that the vines set quite a healthy crop. As summer evolved, the vineyard team meticulously removed excess fruit from the clusters, ensuring a higher level of quality. The wines were crafted with a commitment to preserving freshness and capturing the distinct fruit flavors and textures of the vintage. The wines of 2012 contain exceptional intensity and a lovely seductive opulence.

2011 umami Black fruits, jasmine tea, tobacco, olive *

Character

umami

High-Level Notes

Black fruits, jasmine tea, tobacco, olive

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Tasting Notes

The perfume of the 2011 “IX Estate” Syrah is instantly captivating with seductive notes of tangerine peel, candied violets, and jasmine tea. The wine enchants with an ethereal perfume, as well as the classic Syrah notes of cured meat and olive. The umami flavors of smoked meat marry beautifully with dark floral notes. The texture is lush with a beautiful mid-palate and a silky finish. The tannins are broad and layered. The 2011 “IX Estate” Syrah, like other vintages, will add more layers of complexity and breadth with time in bottle.

Climatic Conditions

There is enormous beauty to be found in the 2011 vintage. The experiences of the season are what help distinguish the pedigree of the Colgin vineyard sites from others. The 2011 growing season in Napa Valley seems only to be recognized for its challenges, yet a great site can take challenges in stride. With a wet start to the season, we have a significant advantage in that each of our sites is planted on hillsides with well-draining rocky soils. Given the wet spring, we experienced one of our latest blooms on record in June. The summer followed with relatively mild temperatures during which time we worked diligently in the vineyard to reduce the canopy and bring the vines into balance. At veraison in late August, we removed enough clusters to ensure a consistent, even ripening. We began our harvest the final week in September and picked virtually all of our Merlot and Syrah in this period. Two small rain events the first week of October hastened the progress of the harvest-yet what followed was altruistic, sunny weather which remained through the completion of the harvest season. We picked the Cabernet Sauvignon the second half of October and our conscientious team ensured only the most pristine berries were sorted into the fermentation tanks. The wines were made with a slightly more delicate hand in order to capture their freshness and respect the fruit. The resulting wines of the 2011 vintage are brilliantly aromatic. They have deliciously round tannin and are bolstered by a bright and balanced level of acidity. The flavors of each site truly stand out in this vintage, and the quality of the wines is a testament to the quality of the terroirs upon which they are grown.

2010 intense Black currant, blood orange, licorice, plethora of subtleties *

Character

intense

High-Level Notes

Black currant, blood orange, licorice, plethora of subtleties

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Tasting Notes

The cooler growing season helped to bring new dimensions of flavor to our 2010 “IX Estate” Syrah. In addition to perfumed floral notes that the Syrah exudes, the 2010 also brings seared beef and grilled duck meat. The mixture of savory meats and floral notes continues onto the palate, with polished, savory tannins. There is a tasteful salty flavor on the palate, very reminiscent of the Northern Rhone. This vintage of "IX Estate" Syrah will bring great enjoyment in the near term for its silkiness, yet like other vintages, it will add more layers of complexity and breadth with time in bottle.

Climatic Conditions

The 2010 growing season in Napa Valley was cooler in nature, with periods of late rainfall in April and May. The late spring led to rapid growth in early summer, making it imperative to bring balance between canopy and vine. Moderate temperatures defined the summer until the heat returned in late August, allowing the grapes to fully ripen. Because of the cooler weather and later harvest, the grapes were picked with wonderful levels of acidity and nuanced flavors. 2010 will be remembered as an excellent vintage that is heralded for its richness and brilliance.

2009 perfumed Honeysuckle, violet, white pepper, rosemary *

Character

perfumed

High-Level Notes

Honeysuckle, violet, white pepper, rosemary

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Tasting Notes

The fragrance from the 2009 “IX Estate” Syrah is remarkably expressive and inviting. As the wine evolves, it becomes savory in nature, with tempting notes of ham, grilled duck, and dark chocolate aromatics coming through. On the palate, mouthwatering tannins with a fine-grained quality are buttressed by great acidity. Overall, the 2009 “IX Estate” Syrah is full of inviting qualities, including a pleasing structure confirming the wine is built to last.

Climatic Conditions

The 2009 vintage was characterized by balance. Small rain events in April and May compensated for a drier winter and brought hydration to the vines just before the summer months. Summertime brought few days over 100 degrees, as well as seasonal fog from the San Francisco Bay. Several small heat events in September rounded out the flavor and tannin development of the fruit. Mild weather at the beginning of October provided perfect conditions for ripening Cabernet. The quality of the 2009 vintage was outstanding and the wines exhibit a purity of fruit and structural elegance.

2008 brooding Cherry, charcuterie, peppercorn, sassafras *

Character

brooding

High-Level Notes

Cherry, charcuterie, peppercorn, sassafras

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Tasting Notes

The 2008 “IX Estate” Syrah is incredibly perfumed and is full of delicate and exotic aromas. Effusive notes of violets, talc, and jasmine tea mingle in the glass, along with a very savory note of the classic bacon fat and cured meats. A beautiful aroma of tangerine rind lingers on the nose. On the palate, the texture is silky, and the wine possesses great elegance despite its full-bodied flavor.

Climatic Conditions

The 2008 vintage was shaped by the La Nina weather pattern. Our vineyards received only 60% of our average rainfall, which tapered off by mid-March. Due to the mild winter, the dry soils prompted the vines to push their growth earlier than usual, which set the stage for the remainder of the season. The drier conditions meant the vines naturally produced less fruit than average. Several heat events in the summer sped up ripening, bringing uniformity of color and flavor to the fruit. A heat wave at the beginning of September started harvest with Merlot and Syrah. Mid-September brought cooler weather, allowing the Cabernet to ripen slowly, and be picked at the end of the month. The 2008 crop was quite small, but the resulting wines are elegant with great structure and concentration.

2007 striking Lush, licorice, barbeque, sweet and savory *

Character

striking

High-Level Notes

Lush, licorice, barbeque, sweet and savory

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Tasting Notes

The 2007 “IX Estate” Syrah boast complex and concentrated aromatics. Once fermentation started, the wines released tantalizing aromas that have since carried through to bottle. Thanks to the cool weather during the growing season, the wine is very fresh and very expressive. A beautiful perfume of floral and spice is evident in the glass. Darker notes of cured meats, cracked pepper, and black olive soon follow, along with the IX Estate’s characteristic notes of wild sage and bay laurel. The 2007 Syrah has freshness and approachability, yet the intricate flavors, rich structure, and natural acidity will allow the wine to evolve beautifully for fifteen years or more.

Climatic Conditions

An exceptional growing season from beginning to end is the definition of the 2007 vintage. A mild spring followed a drier winter, yet several light rains helped the vines cope with the mild drought. A moderate summer with cooler than average temperatures allowed for slow, even development of the berries. A short heat wave around Labor Day resulted in our earliest picking of Merlot ever, but cooler weather soon followed, allowing the Cabernet to hang on the vine longer. The additional time on the vine resulted in riper tannins, lower sugar levels, and great natural acidity. Overall, the 2007 vintage was truly a winemaker's dream, with wines defined by intense color and deep aromatics.

2006 savory Raspberry, fennel, tar, juniper, salty, firm *

Character

savory

High-Level Notes

Raspberry, fennel, tar, juniper, salty, firm

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Tasting Notes

The 2006 “IX Estate” Syrah is a wonderful example of the savory qualities of this varietal. Sweet notes of purple fruits, fresh flowers, and caramel entice the nose. Salty aromas of bacon fat, ham, soy, and white pepper bring balance to the fruitful quality of this wine. As brooding as it is, the wine holds a great freshness as well. The wine fills the palate with layers of silky tannin. Rich aromatics continue to linger on the finish.

2005 joyful Blackberry, provençal herbs, nicoise olives, floral *

Character

joyful

High-Level Notes

Blackberry, provençal herbs, nicoise olives, floral

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Tasting Notes

From its youth, the 2005 “IX Estate” Syrah has been imbued with intoxicating aromatics. The first impression of this wine is the tobacco leaf, bacon fat, and lilac commonly found in the Hermitage clone, which is planted at the IX Estate. These elusive aromas are layered by a meatiness and even a hint of orange zest. This wine is deliciously pliant and envelops the palate, and supported by fresh acidity, a telltale sign of the 2005 vintage.

2004 exuberant Blue fruits, flower, mineral, dense *

Character

exuberant

High-Level Notes

Blue fruits, flower, mineral, dense

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Tasting Notes

The 2004 “IX Estate” Syrah is a perfect blend of Northern Rhone minerality and California richness. The wine displays Colgin traits of a deep black color and fresh, uplifting aromatics of tobacco leaf and white and black pepper. The 2004 Syrah expresses its characteristics in a multidimensional manner with primary fruit aromatics moving to terroir-driven earth, rock, and organic aromas. The overall tannin structure is full-bodied and sophisticated.

2003 seductive Violets, licorice, bouillon, tobacco *

Character

seductive

High-Level Notes

Violets, licorice, bouillon, tobacco

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Tasting Notes

Winemaking showcases the highly intense Syrah grapes from the four different plots at the vineyard. Each plot is fermented separately in a combination of open top vats and conventional closed stainless-steel ferments. The wine shows a saturated color, with essence of blueberries and sauvage notes. It was racked just once before bottling without fining or filtration.

2002 awakening Marmalade, stony, silky, iron *

Character

awakening

High-Level Notes

Marmalade, stony, silky, iron

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Tasting Notes

Love of wines from the Northern Rhone Valley inspired the decision to plant Syrah at IX Estate. The rugged higher elevation, east-facing slope with extremely rocky soil is proving to be an exceptional site for this varietal. Planted with low-yielding Old World clones with pedigrees originating in the Cote-Rotie and Hermitage regions of France, IX Estate produces Syrah with saturated black color, essences of blackberries, and wild notes of game and animal.
The 2002 “IX Estate” Syrah has fresh aromatics of ripe black cherries intertwined with an earthy background. After a few moments, there is a complex savory note of white and black pepper and gamey meats, indicating a true relation between the varietal and the terroir. On the palate, the wine highlights what the 2002 vintage is known for: complete ripeness, high tannin structure, and uncanny fresh fruit notes.

“[Colgin’s Syrahs] are completely different from any other California Syrahs and have an affinity to some of the great 100% single vineyard Syrahs…”

Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate

Cultivated in the IX Estate Vinyard


The IX Estate was born from grapes overlooking Lake Hennessey. See how its dedicated spot of Napa Valley earth created these distinct wines.

Vineyard Details & Photos

More Wines to Explore


View tasting notes and climactic conditions per vintage.

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