Colgin IX Estate Red 2009
Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
The 2009 IX Estate Red Wine is incredibly inviting on the nose! A great marriage of aromas of the soil and the dark fruit flavors I associate with this vintage. The first observation is the dark black licorice aroma coming from the Cabernet Franc, but the more you examine the wine, the more number 9 estate notes come through. Gravel, soapstone, talc and especially graphite round out the nose, giving it its sense of place. The purity of aroma is striking and very tempting. There is a meaty side to the wine, of grilled steak and even savory jerky. More memorable than the nose, is the texture of the wine on the palate. Upon first sip, the tannins are both silky and full bodied. The fresh acidity brings a juicy quality to the wine. With tannins that are both round and plump, this wine is just delicious. The lingering structure from the tannin proves the pedigree of the wine. Decant 3 hours ahead of time at a temperature of 55F.
The Wine Advocate - "Composed of 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc and 6% Petit Verdot, the 2009 IX Estate exhibits a flowery bouquet with notes of subtle smoke, blackberries, black currants, kirsch and baking spices. Rich, deep and full-bodied, this voluptuous, sensational blend boasts an inky/purple color. While approachable, it should hit its stride in 4-5 years and last for two to three decades."
International Wine Cellar - "Saturated deep ruby. Pure but subdued aromas of black cherry, blueberry, menthol and sweet butter. Pure liquid pleasure in the mouth, combining the seamlessness of the Tychson Hill with the tannic force of the Cariad. This wonderfully sweet, palate-saturating wine is downright penetrating without betraying any rough edges. Finishes strong and very long, with mouthfilling chocolatey ripeness. A classic example of the way the best Napa Valley cabernet-based wines can combine sheer sweetness and size with structure.
Wine Spectator - "A muscle-bound effort, tight, dense and chewy, with tar, blackberry, cedar and tobacco flavors. Ends with a pleasant wall of tannins and a persistent push of flavors. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best from 2014 through 2030."
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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 & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.