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November 07, 2014

Colgin IX Estate Proprietary Red – 2010 and 2005

colgin

Colgin Cellars are cited in St.Helena and are known for making truly exceptional wines, which compete with Screaming Eagle, Harlan Estate and Sine Qua Non for 100 point scores and the coveted title of the best Napa red. Colgin specialise in tiny production, hand crafted, ultra premium wine which receives some of the highest scores of any wine the world over. In particular their IX Proprietary Red has an incredible four 100 point scores, including the 2010 which we are offering today; more miraculous still is that their first vintage was in 2002.

Colgin Cellars employ a rare sales strategy, instead of distributing to retailers, the Estate selects key restaurants in the US, Europe and Asia, where they place their wines; the remainder goes to individual clients lucky enough to be on their private mailing list. Even the mailing list is restricted, no one individual can purchase more than three or six bottles of each vintage. In total 70% is sold to the mailing list which currently has an overflow of 3,000 names lying in wait for any of their wines. The IX Proprietary Red only produces 350 cases a year for the entire globe, supply simply will never meet demand and all physical vintages are quickly exhausted. Colgin is rarer then hen’s teeth, hugely desirable and is highly investable. The production is smaller than Romanee-Conti and prices rise year-on-year. As such we are delighted to be able to offer a parcel of the 100 point 2010 and the superb 2005, which received 97 points from Robert Parker, both look undervalued compared to other vintages, truly compelling.

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Ann Colgin and the History of Magical Terroir
Waco, Texas may best be known for spawning a religious cult (which led to an infamous 51-day siege and ended in a fiery Hollywood-esque gun battle), but it is also the birthplace of a cult-California Cabernet vintner: Ann Colgin.  While no gun battles may be involved, Colgin’s wines can still whip its followers into a frenzy: there is a 3-year waiting list for fewer than 3,000 cases produced across their range of four wines.

After leaving Texas and armed with an art history degree, Ann moved to London to take a Sotheby’s decorative arts course.  It was here in London where Ann fell in love with fine wines; her discerning eye for art led her to back to the States, first with Christie’s in New York in art and antiques, then with Sotheby’s in Los Angeles in their fine wine department.  While visiting Napa with her then-husband, Fred Schrader, Ann fell under the spell of California wine country and together they purchased their first Napa property in 1996 on Tychson Hill in St. Helena. When her first marriage ended, Fred took the art and Ann kept the vineyard and label (ironically, Fred went on to found Schrader Cellars shortly thereafter).

In 1999, Ann purchased her second property in St. Helena with second husband, Joe Wender, a 34-year veteran of Goldman Sachs. In honour of their marriage on September 9th 1999, they named their new 120-acre property IX Estate.  While Tychson Hill lies alongside the famed route 29 on the western side of St. Helena, IX Estate is due east, perched upon Pritchard Hill, where the elevation – from 800 to 2,000 feet above sea level – and the soil – volcanic clay loam – contribute to the small, intensely flavoured grapes with incredible aromatics of rich fruit, iron and savoury herbs enveloped in fine-grained tannins. Wine connoisseur and critic Robert Parker considers IX Estate “as close to a viticultural nirvana as I’ve ever seen.”

Colgin IX Estate Proprietary Red 2010, 3×75 - £895 IB or £1,081.38 incl duty and VAT
100pts Parker
The 2010 IX Estate is another perfect wine. Its opaque purple color is accompanied by copious aromas of blueberries, cassis, pen ink, asphalt, licorice and subtle oak. Full-bodied and rich but light on its feet, this spectacular effort was created from a blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc and 6% Petit Verdot. Enjoy this profound wine over the next 25+ years. Drink 2013 – 2038

Colgin IX Estate Proprietary Red 2005, 3×75 – £645 IB or £781.38 incl duty and VAT
97pts Parker
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. Drink 2016 - 2025

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