Colgin IX Estate Syrah 2005
Syrah/Shiraz from Napa Valley, California
The 2005 is the most aromatic Syrah produced from this estate yet. Our old world clones have taken root so well on this amazing site and are coming into their own, reflecting not only their origin in the Rhone, but also the organic nuances of the IX Estate soils. My first impression of this wine is the tobacco leaf, bacon fat and lilac of the old Hermitage clone that just leap out of the glass. Those elusive aromas are layered by the pervasive meatiness of the Cote Rotie clones, like succulent grilled duck, cured ham, blackberry cobbler, white peppercorns, road tar, and even a hint of orange zest. This wine is deliciously pliant and coating on the palate, and supported by fresh acidity, a telltale sign of the 2005 vintage. It amazes me the weight that this wine has taken on over the course of its life both in barrel and bottle. Though delicious enough to enjoy now, I anticipate this wine will continue to gain weight and length over the next 2-3 years, and will drink beautifully for 10-15 years. If you must enjoy it upon release, be sure to decant for 3 to 4 hours in advance to fully experience the aromatics.
Wine Spectator - "Intense and concentrated, with tightly wound pepper, spice, wild berry, currant and fresh leather flavors that slowly and gracefully unfold, revealing layers of complexity and depth and finishing with a long, layered, persistent aftertaste. Drink now through 2014. 411 cases made."
The Wine Advocate - "Colgin is one of the reference points for just what heights mountain-grown Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux varietals, and more recently, Syrah, can achieve in Napa Valley. This beautiful estate and winery overlooking Lake Hennessey is owned by Joe Wender and his wife, Ann Colgin (equally renowned for her auctioneering skills), who are assisted by David Abreu, the well-known Bordeaux wine consultant, Dr. Alain Raynaud, and Allison Tauziet, who has skillfully replaced the brilliant Mark Aubert. As the scores and tasting notes suggest, this was an exceptional tasting. Colgin’s 2006s are among the finest wines produced in the vintage. "
International Wine Cellar - "Good red-ruby. Knockout nose combines musky blue fruits, black raspberry, truffle, smoke, herbs de Provence, olive brine and exotic spices, lifted by a crushed rock element. Then much less open in the mouth, with dark berry fruit currently dominated by earth, spices and saline minerality. Finishes classically dry and very long. I'd hold this still-youthful syrah for at least two more years before pulling the cork.
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About Napa Valley
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.