About this WINE
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.
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.
Frog's Leap, Dominus, David Ramey, Viader, Stag's Leap Cellars, Paras Vineyards, Heitz.
There are over 200 different grape varieties used in modern wine making (from a total of over 1000). Most lesser known blends and varieties are traditional to specific parts of the world.
Robert M. Parker, Jr. - 23/12/2010
Robert Parker - Wine Advocate - Dec 2010