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.
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.
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.”
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