Sunday, November 14, 2010

A great 2006 Syrah from Colgin Cellars

Since Ann Colgin founded this highly reputable estate in 1997, her wines have been hard to find. And very expensive!
Beofore Colgin Cellars, Ann Colgin made wines with her former husband Fred Schrader, who since their divorce took his own path to fame with Schrader Cellars, a now fabulous wine estate with high scooring cabernet wines.

The perfectly managed estate, that sits on top of Pritchard Hill, is run by Ann and her husband Joe Wender. The young and talented Allison Tauziet is responsible for the wines since 2007, although she worked here side by side with winemaker Mark Aubert since 2005. I have noticed a slight move towards more finesse and silkiness in the past vintages, and I think it’s fair to give credit to Allison Tauziet for that, althoug the increased age vines in the IX Vineyard is also part of the very positive evolution.
The 8.10 hectares of vines in IX Vineyard was planted in 1999 by the brilliant vineyard manager and consultant David Abreu, who still is in charge of the viticulture. A total of 1.65 hectares were planted to Syrah, and the clones were taken from Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie in Rhône, France. With focus on the smallest of details in the viticulture, low yields and a rigorous selection of grapes, the total of 9.10 hectares of prime vineyards results in a production of no more than 2 500 cases of fine wines per year.

2006 Syrah IX Estate / 98 p
Poured in an extensive tasting of excklusive California syrahs, this was by far the greatest wine tasted! It’s in many ways a terrific wine, the overall balance is impeccable and the aromatic profile is almost perfect. Color is young, cherry red and dark, but not opaque, and the nose is open, intense and just fabulous. It’s loaded with dark fruits like blackberries and plums, but also with just a hint of red berries that adds elegance, and there’s also a very fine and complex spiciness with notes of licorice, violets and pine wood. Even though the wine was raised in brand new Burgundy barrels, the oak is as perfectly integrated as can be. Also on the palate, it’s extremely well balanced with ripe and sweet scented dark fruitiness, as well as a complex spice that adds so much complexity. Tannins are of course present, but they are not as marked as I expected them to be, and that’s because the balance is almost perfect. I did decant this wine for some hours before enjoying it, but to be honest – this wine tasted great from the very moment I pulled the cork, until the last glass was emptied seven hours later! It’s really a sensational wine, and it shows that the combination of the perfectionist Ann Colgin, the great vineyard IX Estate, the green fingers of David Abreu and his vineyard amigos, and the talented and very skilled winemaker Allison Tauziet is a perfect match. I guess this great wine will evolve into something very similar to the great wines of northern Rhône with age, and I'm very thrilled to be there when it happens.
Drink it 2010-2026.


  1. What other wines were tested at that event? Will you continue to post reviews here or will it appear in a future issue of Livets Goda?

  2. I will review some other wines from that tasting here, unfortunately not in Livets Goda since most of these wines are so hard to find and of lesser interest for the Swedish audience.

  3. Ok, looking forward to it! I do like california syrah!