Colgin Cellars Cariad Bordeaux blend California Napa 2011
2013 - 2023
Robert M. Parker, Jr.
Composed of 49% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot and 6% Cabernet Franc, the 2011 Proprietary Red Cariad exhibits a deep ruby/purple color along with aromas of tapenade, barbecue smoke, black currants, sweet cherries, baking spices and licorice. Medium-bodied and fleshy with delicious fruit, it showcases the endearing, upfront charm of this vintage where the wines are well-made. Drink it over the next decade. There are a lot of magnificent estates with Shangri-La-like beauty spread throughout California, and the Colgin property is in the top ten list for spectacular views as well as top quality. Sitting atop Pritchard Hill with stunning views of Lake Hennessey and the surrounding mountains, their IX Estate Vineyard is on a steep, intimidating hillside. It is one of the must-see attractions in Northern California, if not the entire state. The longstanding winemaking team of Ann Colgin, Allison Tauziet and Bordeaux consultant Dr. Alain Raynaud has produced some magnificent wines over the years (the 2001s, 2002s, 2005s, 2007s and 2008s) as well as amazing efforts in 2009, 2010 and 2012. There are three Bordeaux blend offerings, one from their Tychson Hill estate vineyard off Highway 29, north of St. Helena, and the second, the IX Estate blend. The Cariad is fashioned from a blend of grapes purchased from a number of David Abreu-s well-known and highly respected vineyards. There is also a fourth wine, the IX Estate Syrah, which is often a dead-ringer for a great Northern Rhone. In 2010, March and early April were very cold, but normal conditions persisted over the summer with no heat spikes, and September and October were ideally warm. The results include some spectacular wines that are among the finest I have ever tasted from Colgin. The 2011s were the result of a Draconian-like sorting procedure in both the vineyard and the winery, and significant bleeding of the tanks to concentrate the wines. The wines have turned out well, although as I might expect they are lighter and less significant than the other vintages reviewed. 2012 promises to be a spectacular vintage. This was a big as well as ripe crop (without over-ripeness), and the growing conditions were nearly ideal. In the past, I have underrated Colgin-s Syrahs only to have them in blind tastings later and be blown away by just how profound they are. They are completely different from any other California Syrahs and have an affinity to some of the great 100% single vineyard Syrahs from Michel Chapoutier and the up-and-coming firm of Delas.