Colgin Herb Lamb Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 1992
Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
The Wine Advocate - "This wine slipped through the a blind tasting with everyone mistaking it for a sumptuous first-growth Bordeaux. When told the identity of the wine, one of the Belgian tasters quickly announced he was going to "order 100 cases." I was quick to point out that (1) the wine is already sold out, and (2) less than 1,000 cases were produced. I have always thought this was a terrific wine, but it was outrageously delicious in this blind tasting. The wine boasts an opaque purple color, followed by a gorgeously sweet nose of blueberries and blackberries intertwined with smoky, toasty oak. The enormously opulent texture, viscous richness, and huge quantities of sweet, pure fruit were deftly balanced by just enough acidity and ripe tannin. This full-bodied, awesomely-endowed wine has never shown better than it did in this blind tasting against some of the greatest wines produced in Bordeaux. Although soft enough to be drunk, it promises to evolve for at least 20 years."
Wine Spectator - "Dark, intense and compact, the focused black cherry and currant flavors giving a rich feel on the palate. A spicy anise finish brings out the supple tannins. An impressive debut, but this wine will only be available directly from the winery, or in restaurants."
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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.