Colgin IX Estate Syrah 2008
Syrah/Shiraz from Napa Valley, California
One word came to mind as Winemaker Allison Tauziet tasted the 2008 IX Estate Syrah before its release: perfume. This vintage of Syrah boasts some of the most feminine and exotic aromas we've ever had in this wine. 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 also on the nose. On the palate, the texture is both silky and unctuous. Despite its full bodied flavor, the wine possesses great elegance. With a long decantation, the wine can be enjoyed in the next few years, but will evolve and gain complexity for at least 10 years.
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International Wine Cellar - "Bright full ruby. Pungent aromas of candied blueberry, minerals, lavender, crushed stone, roasted meat, mocha and black olive; youthful but already expressive. Pliant, rich and deep, with terrific verve and incipient complexity to the intense flavors of black cherry, salty minerality, game and white pepper. Really exhilarating high-toned floral/wild herb character and inner-mouth tension. Still an infant, and extremely long on the aftertaste. This reminded me of a top syrah bottling from Cayuse.
Rating: 95 (+?)"
Wine Spectator - "Impressive for its elegance and finesse, this is taut and minerally, with dried berry, plum and blackberry, roasted game meat, white pepper, sage and cedary notes that are sleek, focused and long on the finish. Best from 2013 through 2025."
The Wine Advocate - "Interesting French-like Syrahs are also made from the estate's steep hillside vineyards. The 2008 IX Syrah Estate is performing even better than it did last year from barrel. Juicy bacon fat, roasted meat, grilled herb and smoky notes are classic northern Rhone Syrah characteristics. A floral component suggests some Viognier could be co-fermented, but this is 100% Syrah. The wood is well-concealed in this full-bodied, delicious wine. It is capable of a decade or more of cellaring."
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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.