Colgin Cellars, Napa Valley
An Overview of Colgin Cellars
In 2022 Colgin Cellars will be 30 years old. This benchmark estate has become a beacon for others to follow, representing some of the most sought-after American wines available in the market today. The small Napa estate is synonymous with unimpeachable quality and the wines are the ultimate expression of their unique terroir. It is this ethos that has made them one of most coveted names in the world. Goedhuis is proud to now be a direct partner of this famous address and to represent their inimitable range of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah wines.
This renowned Napa estate in St Helena competes with California’s best and is one of the original ‘cult wineries’, as coined by Robert Parker, alongside Screaming Eagle, Harlan Estate and Sine Qua Non. Specialising in ultra-premium tiny production, their impeccable reputation is rooted in four wines: Tychson Hill Cabernet Sauvignon; Cariad Napa Valley red; IX Estate Napa Valley red and IX Estate Syrah. The total production of all four wines is less than 2,600 cases each year which means global demand by far outweighs the quantity of wine produced. In 2005 Robert Parker crowned Colgin Cellars as “One of the Fifty Greatest Wine Estates in the World” and this still stands today.
The ethos of Colgin is to create wines of perfume, freshness and minerality while embracing the diversity of the unique and ancient hillside soils. Each vineyard benefits from volcanic terroir and perfect elevation, as well as the cooling influence of air flow and its position just below the fog line. The estate was one the first in the region to adopt the Burgundian approach and plant vines on the mid-slope where the soils are rich in mineral deposits. This proved to be transformative, producing wines of such astounding complexity that they became some of the most desirable in the region and it is still what sets them apart from any competition today.
Colgin Cellars was founded by Ann Colgin, who fell in love with the region in the 1980s and saw the potential this incredible land had to offer. She set about carving out and re-discovering the ancient vineyards on this exquisite site. The female pioneering spirit runs deep here. Ann has replanted 3.5 of the original acres at her historic property naming it Tychson Hill, in honour of Josephine Tychson who owned and farmed the property in the 1880s. Today the winemaking is led by Allison Tauziet, who joined in 2005 and knows the vineyards intimately. Tauziet works closely with the vineyard teams and oversees the production of all Colgin wines. Her attention to detail in producing handcrafted red wines with the gentlest of touches is consistently producing world-beating results.
Colgin Cellars’ legendary status has been sealed by its inclusion as one of LVMH’s ‘Vins d’Exception’, alongside the Bordeaux and Burgundy powerhouses of Château Cheval Blanc, Château d’Yquem, and Domaine du Clos de Lambrays. The only New World producer in this renowned group, Colgin Cellars shares with them an obsessive drive to sustain flawless quality, perfect expression of terroir and nuance of character throughout their wines’ extensive lifespans.
A Recent Tasting with Paul Roberts
In a recent conversation and tasting with the hugely knowledgeable COO of Colgin Cellars, Paul Roberts, he shared with us some fascinating insight into the estate. Despite what is thought, Napa is a very small wine growing regions, in fact it is the same size as Burgundy. It is very diverse and boasts a tapestry of 52 unique soils. Paul explained, there are only 101 different soil types globally, proving how rich this region is and how diverse the wines can be. The aspects and geology in Napa are incredible. He also explained that the berry size of Colgin’s Cabernet grapes is 30% smaller than those from Bordeaux or Tuscany due to its special position. They also have thicker skins but achieve perfect ripeness which imparts outstanding texture and power as well as a beautifully ripe structure. Each wine recounts a sense of place, its own unique identity and a DNA rooted in the land and terroir of each individual vineyard. They are crafted by a team who live and breathe the land. Paul’s passion was truly palpable.
He also went on to share his excitement for the up-and-coming 2018 and 2019 vintages and his thoughts for 2020 and 2021. For Paul, these two vintages easily stand in the top ten in the history of estate. He told us his top four are 2013, 2016, 2018 and 2019. While 2018 is darker and more architectural, 2019, he says, has gorgeous, sumptuous ripe fruit and is a spellbinding vintage. Sadly, they already know there will be nothing produced in 2020. Paul told us this will be the first time in the history of the estate they had no wine at all due to climatic conditions. As for 2021, they will need to wait and see, but it looked like drought conditions at bud break.
Paul was also excited to talk about their brilliant new vineyard that they planted in 2019, looking out over the IX Estate plot. When planting is complete, it will be a total of eight hectares of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc and its maiden vintage will be in 2027. The team are tremendously excited about this new addition, and we cannot wait to see what the first results are like.
We are delighted to welcome Colgin Cellars to our portfolio and are looking forward to hosting Paul at our offices in early December to taste all his 2018 wines, as well as some exciting back vintages.
Here below are some key points to the vineyards and what makes them so special.
The estate’s famous Cabernet blends are:
Colgin IX Estate Napa Valley
- The IX Estate vineyard is carved from an ancient lava flow and is 8.07 hectares in size.
- 1100-1400 feet elevation.
- A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot.
- A powerful wine with soaring structure, dark fruits, savoury herbs, and exotic spice.
- Production is between 350-450 cases each year, making this a true collector’s wine.
- Robert Parker says, “The IX Estate is as close to a viticultural nirvana as I have ever seen”.
Colgin Tychson Hill
- Ideally situated in the foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains, Tychson Hill is a 2.4ha vineyard containing some of the rarest volcanic soils found in the Napa Valley.
- Its location is North of the town of St. Helena
- Its elevation 300-422 feet (91-129 meters)
- It produces wines noted for their ethereal, floral qualities.
- 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.
- Lisa Perotti-Brown says, “Tychson Hill blew my mind…this edifying beauty takes Napa Valley elegance and grace to a whole new level.”
Colgin Cariad Proprietary Red
- Cariad is a blend of fruit from several David Abreu ranches, with Madrona Ranch as the central component.
- The vines in Madrona Vineyard in the Western Hills of St. Helena were planted on volcanic stony soils and an alluvial fan in the 1980s.
- 8 acres (3.2 hectares)
- A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petit Verdot.
- Produces wines known for their opulence and structure, characterised by violet, dark fruit and a distinct gravelly minerality
- Named after the Welsh word for ‘love’.
The estate also produces Napa Valley’s most distinguished single vineyard Syrah:
Colgin IX Estate Syrah
- A wine made from clones from Côte-Rôtie and Hermitage in the rocky, volcanic soil of the IX Estate vineyard.
- High elevation. As Paul Roberts notes, great Syrahs love a view!
- Robert Parker says, “[Colgin’s Syrahs] are completely different from any other California Syrahs and have an affinity to some of the great 100% single vineyard Syrahs…”
These wines are not available online please email or call us for details.
- IN BOND prices exclude UK Duty and VAT. Wines can be purchased In Bond for storage in Private Reserves or another bonded warehouse, or for export to non-EU countries. Duty and VAT must be paid before delivery can take place.
- RETAIL prices include UK Duty and VAT. Wines for UK delivery can only be purchased this way.
- Duty Paid wines have been removed from Bond and cannot subsequently be returned to Bond. VAT is payable on Duty Paid wines. These wines must remain Duty Paid but can be purchased as such for storage subject to VAT.
- En Primeur wines can only be purchased In Bond. On arrival in the UK these wines can either be stored In Bond in Private Reserves or another bonded warehouse or delivered directly to you. When you decide to take delivery, Duty and VAT at the prevailing rate become payable.
- IB: In Bond. These wines have had no UK Duty or VAT paid on them. Wines can be purchased In Bond for storage in Private Reserves or another bonded warehouse, or for export to non-EU countries.
- DP: Duty Paid. Wines for immediate UK delivery must be purchased Duty Paid. VAT is payable on Duty Paid wines. Wines which have been removed from Bond cannot subsequently be returned to Bond. They must remain Duty Paid but can be purchased as such for storage subject to VAT.
- EP: En Primeur. These wines are lying in the Domaines’ cellars until shipping. They can only be purchased In Bond. On arrival in the UK these wines can either be stored In Bond in Private Reserves or another bonded warehouse or delivered directly to you. When you decide to take delivery, Duty and VAT at the prevailing rate become payable.