My favorite of the 2005 Colgins is the 2005 IX Proprietary Red Estate, a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The good news is that there are 1,500 cases of this blockbuster wine, which has a Bordeaux framework but the exuberance and richness as well as fruit purity of a great Napa wine. Deep purple in color with an extraordinary nose of scorched earth, blueberries, and black currants intermixed with some subtle charcoal notes, spice, box and spring flowers, it is very full-bodied, but beautifully structured and well-delineated. With good acidity despite what is an extremely high pH (3.9), the total acids are reasonable. This is a beauty of harmony, power, and great intensity, but it is light on its feet, and an exceptional example of what this high-elevation hillside estate vineyard is capable of producing. This wine should hit its prime in 5-6 years and last for three or more decades.
The 2005 IX Estate comes across as a bit clenched and tightly wound. Still, two recent tastings both suggest it doesn't quite have the depth, intensity and potential as the best wines in this flight. Ultimately, the 2005 IX Estate is a wine of two very beautiful dimensions, but not three. Iron, smoke, lavender and a host of ferrous notes are quite expressive, while the fruit remains pushed to the background.
While taking a decorative arts course in London, Ann Colgin fell in love with wine after taking a sip of a 1961 Chateau Latour. Her degree in art history led to a job as a Christie’s auctioneer where her burgeoning interest in wine was nurtured and blossomed into a desire to establish her own winery. Colgin Cellars was created in 1992 when she and Helen Turley secured a parcel of grapes from Herb Lamb vineyard on the lower slopes of Howell Mountain. By 1998, Colgin owned three vineyards which produced small yields, resulting in exquisite red wines: Tychson Hill, Cariad, and IX Estate. As Colgin is a collector of fine art, there is no surprise that her bottlings express the true art of fine winemaking.
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