Colgin IX Estate Syrah 2009
Syrah/Shiraz from Napa Valley, California
The fragrance from the 2009 IX Estate Syrah upon release is remarkably expressive. This wine possesses a beautiful orange blossom lift that makes it incredibly inviting and seductive. The more I delve into the wine, the more savory it becomes. The salty Parma ham, grilled duck breast and dark chocolate that come through on the nose are so tempting. On the palate, that savory quality continues with mouthwatering tannins. They have a fine grained quality to their structure, buttressed by lovely acidity. The orange blossom from the nose, turns to a lingering marmalade aroma on the finish. Overall, this vintage of IX Estate Syrah is full of inviting qualities, making it seem almost precocious, but the unctuous and suave texture of the tannin confirm that this is a wine built to last.
Wine Spectator - "A brilliant expression of dense, rich layers of spice, beef, wild berry, savory and herbal notes, offering intensity, focus, grace and finesse. Should evolve beautifully over the next decade or two. Drink now through 2030."
The Wine Advocate - "I could have sworn the 2009 IX Estate Syrah had some Viognier in it, but all of these wines are 100% Syrah. Flowery, peppery, blackberry and bacon aromas reminiscent of a Cote Rotie jump from the glass. However, once in the mouth, the masculinity, power, awesome richness and incredible texture come forward. This killer Syrah should drink well for 20 or more years."
International Wine Cellar - "Saturated medium ruby. Musky nose combines dark berries, crushed rock, game, violet, espresso and tangerine rind. Fresh but youthfully tight and primary, and currently dominated by its structure. The intriguing citrus quality follows through in the mouth, where it perks up the dark fruit, licorice and tar flavors. Finishes classically dry and firmly tannic, with a lightly saline character.
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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.