Colgin Cariad 2005
Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
The 2005 vintage of our left bank style Cariad blend makes a formidable comparison to a true Bordeaux first growth. In a cooler vintage such as 2005, we truly experienced weather more comparable to that in Bordeaux, and I think that is reflected in the freshness and depth of this wine. The gravelly, fresh leather and mineral aromatics mimic those in one of my favorite wines of Pauillac, Chateau Latour. The Cariad boasts more black fruit notes of sweet black cherries, black licorice, floral and honeysuckle, yet it also flirts with an elusive savory character you find in asian plum sauce and soy sauce. This vintage of Cariad really showcases the balance between richness and elegance that you can achieve through careful winemaking and a "grand cru" type vineyard site. The fantastic texture of the wine is built mostly around its backbone, the 20 year old Cabernet vines at Madrona ranch. They portray deliciously unctuous tannin, with layers on layers of glycerol. The wine is remarkably plush and soft at this moment, yet it is an undeniably serious wine. The 2005 Cariad will improve with 3 to 5 years of cellar age, and will drink well for two to three decades
The Wine Advocate - "Performing even better than when I originally tasted it (scored 96+ at that time), the 2005 is composed of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc and 9% Petit Verdot. The first vintage where Allison Tauziet had complete control after Mark Aubert left to pursue his own wine venture, the 2005 continues to grow in stature and complexity. It exhibits an opaque purple color, a youthful style (it tastes like a 2-3 year old wine) and abundant notes of black fruits, acacia flowers, espresso, white chocolate, crushed rock and licorice. Full-bodied and velvety textured with fabulous concentration, high but sweet tannin and a 60+ second finish, it needs 4-5 more years of cellaring and should age effortlessly over the following 25-30 years."
Wine Spectator - "Ripe and intense, with firm, minerally tannins that have a dry, dusty edge wrapped about the earthy dried currant and black cherry fruit that's deep and concentrated, ending with a long, persistent finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best from 2010 through 2017. 900 cases made."
International Wine Cellar - "Good deep ruby-red. Knockout nose combines dark berries, graphite, cedar and flowers. The palate offers uncanny clarity and depth of flavor, combining elegance and density in the way of a great grand cru site. Wonderful energy here, as well as inner-palate floral lift. A great vintage for Harlan Estate, with nothing overdone about it. Incidentally, I had the opportunity to taste every vintage of Harlan Estate in an extraordinary vertical tasting on this visit, and this 2007 was as strong as any wine to date from outstanding property estate."
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About Napa ValleyView a map of Napa Valley wineries
It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux Blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Notable FactsWithin the Napa Valley lie smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two is St.-Helena and finally, just grated an AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap and Mount Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.