Red, Ready, but will improve

2009 Colgin Cellars, IX Estate Syrah, Napa Valley

2009 Colgin Cellars, IX Estate Syrah, Napa Valley

Red | Ready, but will improve | Colgin Cellars | Code:  14738 | 2009 | USA > California > Napa | Syrah/Shiraz | Medium Bodied, Dry | 15.5 % alcohol

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Scores and Reviews

WA

96/100

WA - The 2009 Syrah IX Estate has developed beautifully over the last year. A blast of heady aromas and flavors burst from the glass in a wine endowed with serious depth. The 2009 stands out for its dazzling inner perfume and balance. Sweet spices, licorice and tobacco all add complexity, while firm mountain tannins frame the saline, focused finish. Although gorgeous today, the 2009 should continue to provide immense pleasure for at least another decade.

Winemaker Allison Tauziet describes 2010 as a year that started later than normal because of a cold March and early April. Conditions returned to normal in June, when temperatures increased. There were no heat spikes during the summer, but a period of heat in September allowed the fruit to catch up. The harvest took place between mid to late October. I also revisited the 2011s, which are now preliminary blends. Readers who want to learn more about Colgin might want to take a look at my video interview with Allison Tauziet filmed during the 2012 harvest. This is a striking set of wines from Ann Colgin, her husband Joe Wender, and the entire Colgin team
Antonio Galloni -Wine Advocate #204 Dec 2012 

The 2009 IX Estate Syrah is simply impeccable. It possesses striking finesse in its aromatics and graceful layers of dark black fruit. This is one of the most unique Syrahs being made in California today. Layers of elegant fruit flow seamlessly to the long, textured finish. The 2009 is remarkable from the very first taste. It shows fabulous aromatic intensity and lift throughout. I loved it.
Antonio Galloni - Wine Advocate #198 - Dec 2011 

The Producer

Colgin Cellars

Colgin Cellars

Founded by Ann Colgin and releasing its first vintage in 1992, Colgin Cellars has rapidly established a glowing reputation as one of the very finest producers in the Napa Valley, specialising in Cabernet Sauvignon-based blends of stunning brilliance.
 
Ann and her husband, Joe Wender, adopt an unusual policy with regard to distribution, in that most of the wine is not sold through retailers but is offered in 3 or 6 bottle lots to restaurants or private customers on the winery’s mailing list.  Unsurprisingly, given the wines’ stellar reputation, there is a substantial queue waiting to join the mailing list, and for many consumers the only chance to secure a few bottles is at auction.

We have been fortunate enough to secure a small allocation of the Proprietary Napa IX blend to offer in the UK. The wine is grown on a superb site which lends itself perfectly to the production of deeply complex, hand-crafted Bordeaux blends and this is a wine of sublime sophistication which is highly reflective of its terroir, and is more than a match for top-level Classified Growths of Bordeaux in quality terms.  Ann Colgin herself is a renowned patron and collector of fine art, and it is no surprise that she sees wine production as a work of art in many ways, fusing the gifts of nature with the skill of man to create wines of exceptional purity.

The Grape

Syrah/Shiraz

Syrah/Shiraz

A noble black grape variety grown particularly in the Northern Rhône where it produces the great red wines of Hermitage, Cote Rôtie and Cornas, and in Australia where it produces wines of startling depth and intensity. Reasonably low yields are a crucial factor for quality as is picking at optimum ripeness. Its heartland, Hermitage and Côte Rôtie, consists of 270 hectares of steeply terraced vineyards producing wines that brim with pepper, spices, tar and black treacle when young. After 5-10 years they become smooth and velvety with pronounced fruit characteristics of damsons, raspberries, blackcurrants and loganberries.

It is now grown extensively in the Southern Rhône where it is blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre to produce the great red wines of Châteauneuf du Pape and Gigondas amongst others. Its spiritual home in Australia is the Barossa Valley, where there are plantings dating as far back as 1860. Australian Shiraz tends to be sweeter than its Northern Rhône counterpart and the best examples are redolent of new leather, dark chocolate, liquorice, and prunes and display a blackcurrant lusciousness.

South African producers such as Eben Sadie are now producing world- class Shiraz wines that represent astonishing value for money.

The Region

Napa

Napa

North Coast's Napa Valley is California's most famous viticultural area (AVA), claiming some of the most expensive agricultural land in the world and producing wines of ‘cult’ status.

Its 16,000 ha of vines lie over a strip (40 miles long-5 miles wide) of diverse soils (clay, gravely, volcanic), with its northernmost end on the side of Mountain Helena and its foot in San Francisco Bay. The valley is framed by two mountains ranges Vaca (to the north) and Mayacamas (to the south), yet the main climatic influence is the cool wind and fog that is sucked in from San Pablo Bay during the afternoon, allowing grapes to ripen slowly and evenly. 

The area enjoys a variety of unique microclimates, as temperatures can vary dramatically as much as 15 degrees, from the north to the south end of the valley. These differences have led to the creation of several sub-AVAs (14 in total) including:

Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley District, Diamond Mountain District, Howell Mountain, Los Carneros, Mt. Veeder, Oakville, Rutherford, St. Helena, Spring Mountain District, Stags Leap District, Yountville, Wild Horse Valley and Oak Knoll District. The Calistoga AVA is still pending approval.

Both the “Napa Valley” designation and the sub-AVA name must appear on the wine label simultaneously, with the exception of wines from the Carneros AVA, which is shared between the Napa Valley and the Sonoma County.

Cabernet Sauvignon is the undisputed king of Napa grapes, occupying over 45% of the vineyard acreage, followed by (predominantly) Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Riesling, Zinfandel, Merlot, Cab. Franc and to a lesser extent Petite Sirah, Sangiovese, Barbera, Dolcetto.

Recommended Producers
Frog's Leap, Dominus, David Ramey, Viader, Stag's Leap Cellars, Paras Vineyards, Heitz.

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