Our “IX Estate” is a powerful blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot.

“IX Estate” is a wine of great power with towering aromatics of dark fruits, savory herbs, and spice. First produced in 2002, “IX Estate” can be enjoyed in youth and ages gracefully for years to come.

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Full Notes &
Conditions
Full Notes & Conditions
2018 chiseled Wild blueberry, charcoal, turmeric, deep, broad, sculpted *

Character

chiseled

High-Level Notes

Wild blueberry, charcoal, turmeric, deep, broad, sculpted

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Tasting Notes

The 2018 "IX Estate" begins with granite, charcoal, and sage aromas which transform into wild blueberry and black cherry. Salivating spices of turmeric and ginger add wildness and intrigue, building a strong sense of character in the wine. The texture of the 2018 "IX Estate" is intensely structured with sculpted tannins. The wine’s vibrant minerality and chiseled dense core stand out in its youth, yet will lead to a long, velvety quality on the palate as the wine evolves with time.

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 (notably less than half of what fell in the unusual winter of 2017). 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 Merlot and Syrah were harvested the last week in September, before a rain event the first week of October. Drying winds coupled with our timely removal of leaves enhanced airflow around the clusters. We began harvesting once again in 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 chiseled, firm tannins evolve into a very full, velvety texture.

2017 valiant Black currant, plum, bay leaf, fresh, smooth *

Character

valiant

High-Level Notes

Black currant, plum, bay leaf, fresh, smooth

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Tasting Notes

The 2017 “IX Estate” beams from the glass with a feeling of purpose and a sense of place. In its youth, this vintage has continually shown enhanced soil driven aromas such as iron and graphite along with the sappy wild sage that grows in the periphery of this site. Raspberry and marzipan combine with juniper and nutmeg, adding complexity at every sip. The 2017 “IX Estate” offers a balance of firm yet pleasurable structure and a harmonious succulence. The 2017 “IX Estate” retains focus and purity combined with heightened acidity, ensuring it will last for decades.

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 radiant Ripe raspberry, violet, gravel, herbs, velvety *

Character

radiant

High-Level Notes

Ripe raspberry, violet, gravel, herbs, velvety

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Tasting Notes

The 2016 “IX Estate” reflects many facets of flavor. The wine offers dark notes of chocolate covered cherries, graphite, incense, but soon reveals bright cooling flavors such as juniper, sage, fresh rosemary, and jasmine tea. The fine-grained tannins coat the palate with tremendous finesse while flavors expand, creating an exceptionally perfumed finish.

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 glossy Luxurious, macerated blackberry, tobacco, chocolate, gliding *

Character

glossy

High-Level Notes

Luxurious, macerated blackberry, tobacco, chocolate, gliding

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Tasting Notes

The 2015 “IX Estate” is exotic and intoxicating. Dark notes of chocolate truffle are infused with bright, lively aromas of lavender, mint, and dark cherry. Savory aromas of fresh and dried herbs fuse together with the soil-driven flavors of iron and crushed rock. A hint of acidity on the palate underlies the silky texture, leading to a prolonged finish. The 2015 "IX Estate" exudes a liveliness with its bright, bold fragrance, reflecting a vintage with full ripeness.

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 vivid Black cherry, black licorice, resinous, polished *

Character

vivid

High-Level Notes

Black cherry, black licorice, resinous, polished

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Tasting Notes

The 2014 "IX Estate" exhibits a bouquet that marries richness with nuance. The classic black cherry and licorice at the foundation of this wine are threaded together with notes of Provencal herbs and mineral. Fresh botanical herbal notes and savory bay leaf showcase distinguishing characteristics of Napa Valley and Cabernet Sauvignon. The complex flavors are pure and delineated; its immense subtleties are intoxicating. The seamless texture of the 2014 "IX Estate" is so smooth, such that its elegance belies its intensity.

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 fearless Succulent, floral blossom, full, minerals *

Character

fearless

High-Level Notes

Succulent, floral blossom, full, minerals

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Tasting Notes

The 2013 "IX Estate" captivates you with a concentration of flavors, but underneath the surface the wine is replete with nuance. The wine envelops the senses with a nose of sweet floral blossoms and bouquet garni. Vibrant notes of licorice, dark fruit, and botanicals meld together with flavors of pure wet mineral and iron. Opulence on the nose carries through to the palate, where it displays smooth layers of tannin. The juicy and savory texture builds to a long, rich finish. Though the 2013 vintage is compelling in youth, the power, breadth, and depth will most certainly age for a generation.

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 sumptuous Plum, grilled herbs, juicy, savory sweetness *

Character

sumptuous

High-Level Notes

Plum, grilled herbs, juicy, savory sweetness

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Tasting Notes

The 2012 begins a series of exceptional vintages for the Napa Valley. The 2012 "IX Estate" captures all the terroir and the varietal notes from this rocky, iron-rich site. The wine is loaded with cassis, red currant, and black licorice aromatics. The texture is beautifully structured and has a long, persistent finish. The fusion of fruit and earth reflect ripeness balanced with precision--a hallmark of the vineyard.

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 generous Blackberry, black olive, rosemary, sage, fresh *

Character

generous

High-Level Notes

Blackberry, black olive, rosemary, sage, fresh

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Tasting Notes

The "IX Estate" truly shines in this vintage. This exceptional hillside slope of fractured volcanic rock took full advantage of the long growing season. As the "IX Estate" is an early ripening site, in a later vintage like 2011 we were easily able to fully ripen the fruit and finish our picking by October 20th.

In the 2011 "IX Estate" I find many parallels to the great 2006 vintage from "IX Estate." The 2011 has the same aromatic lift and complexity of the 2006; and shares the elegant texture, viscosity and brilliant acidity of that hallowed vintage.

The 2011 "IX Estate" bursts with freshness and black fruits. The benefit of a cooler growing season is that it preserves the nuanced flavors in the fruit. Rosemary, sage, cracked pepper, black olive, combined with the inherent flavors of the site--iron, crushed rock, juniper berry, and bay leaves--all contribute to the wine's aromatic complexity. The elegant texture is incredibly appealing with its silky, round tannins, paving the way to a smooth finish. As the wine matures in the bottle, it will have the same aging curve of the other vintages of the "IX Estate." The natural acidity in 2011 will no doubt add longevity to the wine, preserving it for decades.

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 confident Crushed rocks, grilled meats, chocolate mint, salivating *

Character

confident

High-Level Notes

Crushed rocks, grilled meats, chocolate mint, salivating

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Tasting Notes

The 2010 "IX Estate" seamlessly combines the vineyard's clay iron mineral notes and soothing herbal aromatics, such as rosemary and chocolate mint. The layers of flavor continue with earthy notes of wet soil and graphite. Benefitting from superb balance and ripeness, the tannins coat the palate seamlessly and reflect the great structure, a hallmark of cooler vintages. The harmony between flavors and structure indicates that the "IX Estate" will age for thirty-plus years.

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 enchanting Floral perfume, red raspberry, iron, silky *

Character

enchanting

High-Level Notes

Floral perfume, red raspberry, iron, silky

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Tasting Notes

The 2009 vintage is replete with earthy aromatics and dark fruit flavors. Black licorice aromatics give way to gravel, soapstone, and talc rounding out the nose. The aromatic purity is striking and enticing. More memorable than the nose is the texture of the wine on the palate. The tannins are silky and full-bodied, and fresh acidity brings a delectable quality to the wine. The 2009 "IX Estate" can last twenty years or more.

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 sleek Red cherry, sage, crushed rocks, dried bay leaves *

Character

sleek

High-Level Notes

Red cherry, sage, crushed rocks, dried bay leaves

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Tasting Notes

The 2008 vintage resulted in wines that primarily reflect their sense of place. Initially, the nose of the "IX Estate" leads with crushed rocks, clay, and minerals that evolve into savory aromas of musk and bay leaf. Decadent notes of black licorice, black cherry, and cassis add depth to the aromatics. Wonderfully layered tannins provide a silky texture on the palate and the structure of the wine suggests that it will be long-lived.

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 luxurious Black licorice, gravel, graphite, cherry, unctuous *

Character

luxurious

High-Level Notes

Black licorice, gravel, graphite, cherry, unctuous

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Tasting Notes

As the vines become older with each passing year, the wines become more thought-provoking. Through attentive tending of the vines and thoughtful decisions on the time of harvest, the best of IX Estate was harvested and has the attention to detail combined with a stellar growing season. The 2007 "IX Estate" showcases terroir driven flavors of crushed rock, wet graphite, bay leaf, and dried spice. The 2007 is dense, expressive, and alluring. Patience will be greatly rewarded as the structure and natural acidity will allow the vine to age thirty 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 translucent Red currant, lavender, barbeque rub, mineral tinged *

Character

translucent

High-Level Notes

Red currant, lavender, barbeque rub, mineral tinged

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Tasting Notes

The 2006 "IX Estate" was an exciting wine to craft. Throughout its life in barrel, the wine continued to add weight and complexity, and continues to do so. The 2006 "IX Estate" exhibits a beautiful red ruby color. Initial notes of spice and sage evolve into notes of lavender, tangerine, talc, and spring flowers. The wine is rich in purity yet full of complexity, with round tannins that coat the palate with a lingering silky texture. Soft yet powerful, the 2006 "IX Estate" displays perfume, freshness, and minerality--the hallmark of Colgin Cellars wine.

Climatic Conditions

The 2006 vintage began a bit slower than previous years. With a wetter winter, soils took longer to dry out, and vines woke up in April, several weeks later than other vintages. A beautifully moderate spring helped accelerate vine growth by early June. A heat wave in July signaled to the vines that summer had arrived, shifting the focus to ripening the fruit. Balanced summer weather followed, and warmer temperatures in October intensified color and developed ripe, soft tannins. The 2006 vintage is defined by bright aromatics, fresh acidity, and great balance.

2005 sophisticated Floral red fruits, cocoa nibs, dark, meaty, full *

Character

sophisticated

High-Level Notes

Floral red fruits, cocoa nibs, dark, meaty, full

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Tasting Notes

As these vines mature, the character of the "IX Estate" terroir will continue to grow. We dropped nearly 75% of the crop to the ground to maximize color and flavor, creating a wine that is difficult to resist. The nose reveals juniper berry, black cherries, chocolate liqueur, roasted herbs, and grilled meat. Secondary aromas of clay, crushed rock, lavender, and mineral are revealed in the glass. On the palate, the wine has layers of luxuriously textured tannins. Fresh acidity brings a balanced amount of structure to the palate. The finish is vibrant and long.

2004 earnest Dark fruits, bouquet garni, sage, olive *

Character

earnest

High-Level Notes

Dark fruits, bouquet garni, sage, olive

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Tasting Notes

All components of the "IX Estate" continue to mature with each passing vintage. The enticing black color of this wine gives the assurance of ripe grape skins and soft tannins. The high elevation of this outstanding vineyard site creates an average five degrees cooler temperature which means slower ripening, preserving subtle nuances, and creating fine acid structure. The soft tannin structure frames the ageability and reassures continued complexity during bottle aging. The 2004 "IX Estate" will age for a generation.

2003 contemplative Violet, black licorice, figs, iron, savory *

Character

contemplative

High-Level Notes

Violet, black licorice, figs, iron, savory

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Tasting Notes

The first impression of the 2003 "IX Estate" gives new meaning to the word intense. Each component of this wine displays depth of color and aromatics. Perfectly composed and brilliantly defined are the aromatics of fresh red berries, black licorice, and ripe black cherries. The full-bodied tannins of the 2003 "IX Estate" ensure its ability to age gracefully for many decades.

2002 alluring Dried plum, juniper, stony, pure, regal *

Character

alluring

High-Level Notes

Dried plum, juniper, stony, pure, regal

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Tasting Notes

After searching for the ideal property in the hills above Napa Valley, Ann Colgin purchased IX Estate overlooking Lake Hennessey in 1998. Carefully selected clones and rootstocks were chosen and the vineyard was laid out in small plots of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. The rocky low-yielding vineyard produces smaller than average clusters of concentrated berries that help craft a rich, dense, and exotic wine.

The color and overall intensity of this Cabernet Sauvignon is a deeply pitched red to black. Aromatics are vibrant with a fresh tone of red-skinned fruits such as cherries and even raspberries coupled with exotic spices, such as tamarind. The complexity of this wine develops further to include earthy, soil-driven notes as well. The mouth feel is rich, framed by ripe tannins and a fine acid structure.

“Year in, year out, [Colgin’s wines] are some of the most spectacular, singular, and compelling wines made in the world…

There’s nothing over the top and they shine for their elegance, complexity, and nuance just as much as for their considerable richness and power. Life is too short to not try these wines at least once!”

Robb Report

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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