2025 - 2060
The 2017 IX Estate is composed of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Cabernet Franc, 11% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot. Opaque purple-black colored, the nose is quite closed and shy to begin, slowly unfurling to reveal freshly crushed blackberries, mulberries and blackcurrants plus suggestions of dusty soil, bouquet garni, pencil lead and cast-iron pan with gentle wafts of sandalwood, cardamom, rare beef and black tea. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is built like a brick house, strutting incredibly ripe yet super firm tannins, and it has lovely, uplifting freshness to help define all those black fruit and savory layers, finishing with epic length. Needs time, but this should turn out to be incredibly nuanced and long lived!
“It was an adventure! It was definitely one of those vintages that had a philosophical impact,” Colgin’s winemaker Allison Tauziet said, speaking about the 2017 vintage. “We had a lot of rain to begin. And then the heat tempered the vigor of the vines. It was a year where a lot of decisions mattered.” In spite of the challenges 2017 threw at them, Colgin came up trumps with their Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. But the heat really hit the Merlot hard. “There is not much Merlot in our 2017 blends,” Tauziet confessed. “Our farming is designed to mitigate that heat—we have had a lot of success with shade cloth. We leave more leaves to protect the fruit. And we have good air flow.” Colgin’s Syrah was harvested in mid-September. The Cabernets came in at the end of September. Only about 5% of the fruit was hanging during the fires—all of this was discarded or sold. “We had some Petit Verdot affected by the fires—we got rid of it all,” Tauziet told me. As for the winemaking during the 2017 power outages due to the fires, “We have a generator, but getting the diesel for it up the mountain and getting dry ice was very difficult.” All told, yields at Colgin in 2017 were down about 30% across the board, which, relatively speaking, is not bad.