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Posted March 30th, 2017 in California

Colgin – In Detail


The Colgin story starts with Ann Colgin, an avid art collector and dedicated philanthropist, who founded Colgin Cellars in 1992 with a vision of making the finest wines from exceptional hillside vineyards in St. Helena. After searching carefully many times, she finally found the perfect terroir for making Californian wines full of freshness, perfume & minerality: Herb Lamb Hill, a North facing Mid-Slope Hillside plot with the perfect air flow and sun exposure.

1992 is the first vintage ever made by Colgin with a production of 165 cases total. This is also the year when Screaming Eagle, Harlan Estate, Araujo Estate & Bryant Family made their first vintage. Today, Colgin produces 3000 cases for 4 different wines: IX Estate, IX Estate Syrah, Cariad & Tychson Hill.

Napa Valley, a 26 miles long and 5 miles wide region, has the most diverse soil types in the world with 52 out of 101 different known soil types. The Napa Valley is always defined as the Sunny Valley but in reality, this is not a warm region: the temperatures are around 75ºF/80ºF during the day and only 40ºF at nights. It’s even cooler than Bordeaux!

Every day is a variation of at least 30ºF from day to night but sun is shining all day long with fog cover every morning till 10/11am which brings freshness to the wines. Obviously it can get very warm with low humidity during the growing season but the air flow allows to cool the vines down faster helping keep the acidity in the wines.

Wines from Napa Valley have more tannins and acidity than what people think. Acidity is the same from other wines from other regions, the fruit is just more powerful. We have then very savory wines which can age so well for 30 years.


Since its first production in 1999, Cariad, the Welsh word for “love”, is a Bordeaux-style red wine blended from four grape varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon (55%), Merlot (15%), Cabernet Franc (15%) & Petit Verdot (15%).

This wine is made out of 30 years old vines planted in pure gravel soil with 35% of the plot on the hill slope. The winemaking is a traditional style with pumping over.

Purple robe, vibrant aromas, voluptuous at mid-palate, with impeccable balance and an exceptionally long finish with gravel notes. Drink from 24 to 36 months after release for young wines aficionados or leave it for 30 years to age.


A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, IX Estate Red is the largest vineyard site and production (20 acres). Located high above Lake Hennesey on a secluded mountaintop in the Pritchard Hill area of St. Helena, it is nestled in hillsides of rocky volcanic soils, and embraced by a most agreeable climate

Since 2002, IX Estate is distinguished by a dark red spectrum robe, complex fruit interplays, a luscious nose of rustic herbs (thym), iron, clay, lavender and black fruits, huge layers of flavor and supple, sweet tannins impeccably well-balanced.

2011 vintage was a complicated and cool vintage with a lot of rain during the harvest time. 2011 production is 50% less than the 2013. 2011 pairs very well with roasted chicken when 2013 pairs perfectly with Indian cuisine.


The vineyard was originally planted in 1881 by Josephine Tychson, the first female vintner in Napa Valley. Though the vines were removed during prohibition and the land broken up into adjoining lots, Ann Colgin has been restoring the original holdings since 1997.

This pure signature Cabernet wine is from an exceptional site that imparts earthy, ethereal notes of power and elegance. A lot of red fruits expression with graphite, blackberry and freshly cut flowers that excite the palate. This wine has the fruit and texture of St Emilion and the freshness of St Julien.

It pairs perfectly with bird based dishes.


From low yielding clonal selections originating in the Côte-Rôtie and Hermitage regions of France, the IX Estate Syrah – planted in 2000 – is characterized by the Old World aromatics of the Northern Rhone.

The vines are planted on granite and volcanic soils with an Eastern facing exposure and the perfect air flow which brings to the wines a remarkably nuanced bouquet of violet, orange peel, pepper, blackberry, coffee and acacia, graced with a black floral uplift. Its voluptuous texture, savory palate with mouthwatering tannins, and dense black color is truly irresistible, smooth and expressive. Only 375 cases produced.

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