Everything about Colgin Cellars, Napa Valley, California Cabernet Sauvignon wine producer profile, wine tasting notes, wine and food pairing tips, best vintages, history of the property, information on their wine making techniques, terroir and soil. You can also read about the Grapes used for California wine and learn about the extensive History of Napa Valley, California Wines
Colgin Cellars History, Overview
Colgin Cellars, founded by Ann Colgin produced their first Cabernet Sauvignon from the 1992 vintage with fruit harvested from Herb Lamb vineyards. Ann Colgin, like many other well-known wine makers got into the business due to her passion for wine. After earning degrees from Vanderbilt and New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development, Ann Colgin started working in the art art world, first at Christie’s and then Sotheby’s. It was during her tenure at Sotheby’s that Ann Colgin developed her interest in wine. One of the first wines that changed her life was tasting her first bottle of the legendary, 1961 Chateau Latour!
What happened next was, during a visit to Napa Valley in 1988, while married to Fred Schrader, they attended one of the famous events associated with the Napa Valley Wine Auction. A few short years later, Ann Colgin and Fred Schrader founded Colgin Cellars. Colgin and Schrader dissolved their partnership and marriage. Ann Colgin retained Colgin Cellars and Fred Schrader went on to create Schrader Cellars.
One of the first decisions Ann Colgin made was to hire Helen Turley as the winemaker for Colgin Cellars. Ann Colgin also brought in David Abreu as her vineyard manager. That was considered the A-list team at the time. By Colgin’s second vintage, they became one of the hot wines to earn true Cult wine status. Their initial releases were sold under the name of Colgin Schrader. In 1994, with the release of their third vintage, Colgin Cellars was all of a sudden one of the hot new Cult Napa wineries to own. In fact, the 1994 Colgin became the first California wine to sell for over $1,000 per bottle at auction!
Things changed with time. Helen Turley was replaced by Mark Aubert, who left to concentrate on his own brand. Mark Aubert was replaced by the young, talented, Allison Tauziet. Alain Raynaud, the well-known Bordeaux consultant is also part of the team that works with Colgin Cellars. Based on an extensive vertical with Ann Colgin and Allison Tauziet in 2012, the wines being made by Tauziet at Colgin are some of the finest wines the estate has ever produced! And that’s really saying something. Alain Raynaud from Bordeaux is their consultant for vineyard management and wine making.
Colgin Cellars began producing wine from purchased fruit from the Herb Lamb winery. That changed in 1997 when Ann Colgin and Joe Wender added the vineyard of Tychson Hills to their holdings. Owning Tychson Hills is a tremendous source of pride for Ann Colgin because the original creator of Tychson Hills Vineyard, Josephine Tychson was the first female vintner in the Napa Valley. Tychson Vineyards had become dilapidated over the years and required a complete replanting. The first vintage from Colgin Tychson Hill came from the 2000 vintage. Shortly after obtaining Tychson Hills, Ann Colgin and Joe Wender expanded their holdings to include their Colgin IX vineyard on Pritchard Hill in 2008. 2010 became the first vintage to include fruit from the recently planted Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot vines in the Tychson Hill Cabernet Sauvignon wine.
Colgin Cellars Vineyards, Wines, Winemaking
Colgin Cellars is located on a stunningly, picturesque, 125 acre parcel on Pritchard Hill. With 20 planted acres at a high elevation that ranges from 1,150 to 1,350 feet about sea level, the terroir is based on rocky, volcanic soils. This is where the fruit for Colgin IX comes from. The cellars were completed in 2002. Colgin still works with Herb Lamb fruit, as well as fruit purchased from some of the best sites owned by David Abreu from his Madrona vineyard. However, they also own some of the best vineyard land in the valley.
Colgin Cellars produces several Cabernet Sauvignon wines. Herb Lamb, Tychson Hill, Colgin IX and Cariad. Colgin Cellars also produces one of the top Syrah wines from Napa as well. The wines of Colgin Cellars are sold through their popular mailing list.
Serving and Decanting Colgin Cellars with Wine, Food, Pairing Tips
Colgin Cellars wines are best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift. Young vintages of their red wine can be decanted for 1-3 hours, depending on the character of the vintage. This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume. Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment.
Colgin Cellar wines are best served with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, ribs, hamburgers, barbecue, roasted, braised, grilled dishes and stews. Colgin Cellars are also good with Asian dishes, hearty fish courses like tuna, salmon, mushrooms and pasta.
Colgin Wine Tasting Notes
38 Vintages 173688 Views Sort Vintage - Rating
13 Colgin IX – With a boatload of fresh ground spice, wet earth, perfectly ripe, sweet, juicy black fruits and smoke on the nose, the wine gets going. On the palate, the wine is full bodied, dense, rich, fleshy and equally, polished and fresh in its textures. The plush endnotes have a spicy kick and in spite of its low acidity, there is more than enough lift, making you want to refill your glass before it’s empty. The wine was made from a blend of 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. 2013 has to the best vintage ever for Colgin, and considering their incredible track record, that's really saying something!
Sep 16, 2016points - Tasted 4622 Views
Peppery, truffle, black cherry jam, with a hint of blue fruit get this going. With a bit more air, tobacco scents come into. Full bodied, silky, polished, sensuous textures are paired a plush, opulent, sweet, pure dark cherry finish. The wine was produced using 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and even portions of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. This is a perfect example blending power, elegance, refinement and exuberant fruit.
Sep 16, 2016points - Tasted 3146 Views
This is clearly the benchmark wine for what can be done with Syrah in Northern California. This is stunning in every sense of the word. Produced from perfectly ripe fruit, it’s like walking through the farmers market with its cornucopia dark red berries and blue fruit with an intriguing note of citrus and fresh herbs in the background. The wine is concentrated, opulent and jacked up with layers of sweet, fat, luscious, juicy, intense, peppery berries that remain with you from start to finish.
Sep 16, 2016points - Tasted 2151 Views
The mineral driven nose, with its stone, charcoal, licorice and smoked plum aromas take some effort to coax them out. But it’s worth your time. On the palate, the wine is full bodied, lush, spicy, rich and deep. There is a lot of weight and density in the wine, but there is more than enough lift' elegance and freshness to keep things moving in the right direction. The wine was made from blending 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc and 9% Petit Verdot.
Sep 16, 2016points - Tasted 3575 Views
Deep in color, with a perfume that's on the floral side with cassis, licorice, smoke, black cherry and cocoa to add to the complexity. On the palate, the wine is deeply concentrated, rich, plush and polished, with an elegant, refined character in the finish.
Sep 22, 2015points - Tasted 4123 Views
Licorice, mint and chocolate covered cherries are in abundance on the nose. The fruit is silky, lush and polished, creating a hedonistic styled wine that was made for pleasure seekers.
Sep 22, 2015points - Tasted 4122 Views
Smoky, cigar box aromas coupled with scents of spicy cherries make up the nose. Luscious, sexy, rich and polished, the fruit is ripe, fresh, long and deep. If you like it young, feel free to pop a cork on this beauty.
Sep 22, 2015points - Tasted 3065 Views
Really peppery black and red fruits with an interesting hint of peach and thyme in the bouquet. The wine is vibrant, energetic and ripe, with a fun citrus note in the smooth, mineral driven, sweet black raspberry filled finish.
Sep 22, 2015points - Tasted 2728 Views
This is a stunner from start to finish. With its showy, perfumed nose of florals, lavender, fresh herbs, licorice and sweet, ripe black and blue fruits, you're already hooked. But it gets better once the luscious, rich, concentrated, sweet, spicy fruit hits your palate and stays there. You can drink this now, or hold off, it has the structure to age for at least another decade or two.
Oct 15, 2015points - Tasted 2299 Views
Still suffering from reduced production with not much more than 200 cases released in this vintage, this deeply colored wine pops with grilled beef, pepper, black raspberry, stone and BBQ scents. Rich, intense, fat, dense and mouth filling, the wine is long, deep and really makes an impression. The finish tastes and feels great with its decadent, silky, rich, fruit filled personality. Drink it young or age it. This is a stunning example of Northern California Syrah at its best.
Sep 9, 2013points - Tasted 3850 Views
From a blend of 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc and 10% Petit Verdot with fruit from the Madrona vineyard, this stellar wine is smoky, with earth, black plum, boysenberry, dark chocolate and coffee bean aromatics. Plush, sensuous, dense, rich and long, there is a lot of intensity in this wine. The finish must last for at least 50 seconds. This wine really coats your palate.
Sep 9, 2013points - Tasted 5652 Views
Deep in color, the wine pops with blackberry, blue fruit, cinnamon, vanilla, cherry liqueur, licorice and charcoal. The wine is thick, rich, concentrated and intense, with soft, dusty tannins. On the palate, this dense wine ends with cassis and cranberry. From 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, the remainder of the blend consists of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. In fact, the 2010 Tychson Hill is the first vintage to include fruit from the recently planted Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot vines.
Sep 9, 2013points - Tasted 4371 Views
Fresh herbs, cassis, blackberry, truffle, black raspberry, vanilla and oak scents open up the wine. On the palate, the wine is tannic, rich, full bodied and filled with black cherry liqueur and espresso bean. There is a minor hint of dryness in the finish, which stops my score from going higher. The wine was produced from a blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc and 6% Petit Verdot.
Sep 9, 2013points - Tasted 3358 Views
Rich, dense, fleshy and powerful, this concentrated, lush, racy Syrah is packed with ripe, pure, black raspberry jam, fresh cherries and licorice. Hard to find and expensive, but if California Syrah is your thing, it's worth the effort to taste this wine.
Dec 9, 2012points - Tasted 2993 Views
Dec 9, 2012points - Tasted 260 Views
Deep in color, with purple accents, the perfume opens with cherries marinated in an array of spices, complicated by earth, tobacco, licorice, spearmint and earth. The texture is pure silk and velvet. The wine remains and expands on your palate for at least 60 seconds ending with multiple layers of intense, sweet, polished, decadent fruits.
Dec 11, 2012points - Tasted 5670 Views
Dark, almost opaque in color, the perfume screams with fresh blueberry, blackberry jam, chocolate, coffee, truffle and vanilla. Massive, yet balanced. Concentrated with layers of intense ripe fruit, this is almost too much of a good thing. I said almost. Thick, rich, pure and intense, this is a stunning example of a perfectly ripe, fruit forward, California Cabernet Sauvignon.
May 1, 2012points - Tasted 4325 Views
Beautifully structured, concentrated with perfectly ripe, sweet, black and blue fruits, soft tannins, opulent textures and length. This is drinking great today. There is not much to be gained by waiting, so if you have a bottle, pop a cork when you're in the mood.
May 24, 2017points - Tasted 2454 Views
This is drinking in the perfect spot today. It's soft, fat, round and polished, with a spicy, dark cherry, earth and vanilla profile. If you have a bottle, there is no reason to wait.
Sep 21, 2014points - Tasted 2362 Views
Explosive notes of jammy blackberries, pepper, flowers, licorice and vanilla bean, pair perfectly with the fat, lush, rich textures and the long, ripe, sweet, black raspberry, fruit filled finish.
Oct 8, 2012points - Tasted 3423 Views
This stunner is ready to go. Showing even better than the last time I tasted it, it's packed and stacked with all the right stuff. Layers of sweet, ripe, juicy, fresh fruit, polished, silky tannins and a hedonistic personality have created a true wine of refined, pleasure and purity. Just months away from its 10th birthday, if you own a bottle, you should pop a cork and this is really in the sweet spot. The wine was made from a blend of 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot.
Sep 23, 2015points - Tasted 2244 Views
Spice box, sandalwood, graphite, espresso bean, dark berries and vanilla. In the mouth the wine is intense, fleshy and fresh, ending in a blast of black cherry, licorice and spice. This stellar wine is massive, (in all the right ways) with the structure to age and develop for at least another 10-15 or more years.
Dec 11, 2012points - Tasted 3540 Views
Lots of fresh blackberries, licorice, coffee, oak and fresh earth on the nose. Silky, soft, plush and polished, there is a nice freshness coupled with an intensity of flavor and concentration. The stunning wine ends with a plethora of sweet, ripe, blackberries and plums.
Sep 15, 2013points - Tasted 3136 Views
Still deep in color. Cherry blossoms, licorice, smoke, thyme and earthy scents open the experience. On the palate, the wine coats your mouth and palate with thick, rich, intense waves of lush fruit. If you’re seeking a wine that personifies seamless, this is it. There are no hard edges in this sublime combination of power and finesse.
Dec 11, 2012points - Tasted 3699 Views
Deep in color, with a perfume filled with vanilla, 5 spice, blue fruit and blackberry liqueur. Rich, powerful, concentrated and structured, this combines the best of hedonism and cerebral attributes.
Dec 11, 2012points - Tasted 3295 Views
Truffle, earth, smoke, graphite, plums, coffee bean and blackberry scents open the wine. From a cooler vintage in Napa, the wine is silky, lush, rich and long with a sweet, fresh, blackberry filled finish.
Sep 15, 2013points - Tasted 4106 Views
Smoke, vanilla, espresso bean, earth, blackberry jam, blueberry and cherry preserves create the wine aromatics. In the mouth, the wine is rich, silky, deep and plush. Some tannin remains, I’d give it another year or two for the tannins to fully integrate.
Dec 11, 2012points - Tasted 3109 Views
Not quite rock star, but close. The sweet, ripe, deep dark red, juicy fruit kept building. Polished in texture and personality, the wine leaves you with a finish that must have stuck with you for at least 40 seconds.
Aug 7, 2017points - Tasted 1931 Views
Power and elegance, with a side of sweet, ripe fruits, silky tannins and a long, fruit filled finish. This is drinking in the perfect sweet spot today.
Dec 3, 2015points - Tasted 2708 Views
Inky black, purple in color. This is very, sexy juice. Huge levels of concentration with an opulent texture. This Bordeaux blend is mostly Cabernet. From the first sniff you could sense this was a wine of distinction. Layers of ripe black and blue fruits with a touch of oak. The palate presence was very rich.
May 21, 2007points - Tasted 3992 Views
With a serious depth of flavor, the wine tastes, smells and feels great There is ample density, richness and length, with a silky, polished character. Popped and poured, this is close to the sweet spot.
Aug 7, 2017points - Tasted 1384 Views
20 minutes really helped bring out the aromatics and added that extra layer of softness to the wine. Medium bodied and elegantly styled, this restrained beauty is ripe, sweet, fresh and ready to go. The wine was made from a blend of 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot and 8% Cabernet Franc.
Oct 12, 2016points - Tasted 2156 Views
Vanilla, pepper, cherry and stone aromas are easy to find in the nose. On the palate, sweet, spicy, red cherry jam with touch oak are featured in the round finish.
Dec 9, 2012points - Tasted 1873 Views
Showy with gobs of juicy, ripe black fruits, spice and cracked pepper in the perfume. Very lush palate presence.
May 21, 2007points - Tasted 2960 Views
Spice, black cherry liqueur and incense aromas open to a silky, jammy, powerful sweet, tannic, wine with a jammy black cherry finish. There is a touch of heat in the finish.
Dec 11, 2012points - Tasted 3186 Views
Luscious, sexy, ripe, polished, hedonistic in style, the wine is rich, full bodied and supple, ripe, round and made for pleasure, this just rocks!
Sep 25, 2017points - Tasted 1280 Views
Drinking perfectly, with its showy display of ripe fruits, and silky tannins, you can age it if you must, or enjoy it today.
Jul 26, 2014points - Tasted 3078 Views
This was so fat, lush and sexy. The color was akin to dark, purple and black ink. Filled with gobs of blue and fruit, licorice and cassis. Great plush, opulent mouth feel and finish that keeps on going. This is a stellar expression of Napa Cabernet. While the wine checks in at over 15% alcohol, you'd never know it with it's wealth of ripe fruit
Mar 10, 2006points - Tasted 1356 Views
The nose on this wine actually reminded me of a Northern Rhone with it's beautiful, bacon fat accented perfume accompanied by a cornucopia of fruit, herbs and spices. This wine truly benefited with time in the decanter.
Mar 10, 2006points - Tasted 2760 Views
Still sporting a depth of color for its age, this is stunning from the first sniff, swirl and sip. Where do you start with this wine? Is it the texture with its silky, velvet textured mouth feel? Perhaps it’s the layers of the perfectly ripe, spicy, fresh, clean, pure berries. Or is it the intense aromas of blackberry, truffle, spice and earth? At the end of the day, it does not matter where you start or finish with this elixir. This is a reference point wine for Colgin Cellars and California Cabernet Sauvignon.
Sep 15, 2013points - Tasted 3933 Views
With complex aromas filled with smoke, oak, blueberry, wood, blackberries and spice, on the palate, the texture is lush, polished, rich and deep. The concentrated, long finish is packed with sweet, jammy, black cherry and licorice.
Dec 11, 2012points - Tasted 4770 Views
Decadent layers of black and blue fruit coat your palate and the complex array of aromatics grabs your attention as well. Thick, rich, dense and balanced, this is a serious expression of California Cabernet.
Sep 16, 2005points - Tasted 3158 Views
This is what decadent ripe, California fruit is all about. Very rich, incredibly concentrated with endless layers of soft, deep, opulent, sweet fruit. The explosive perfume was intoxicating! This drinks perfect today.
Feb 10, 2006points - Tasted 2638 Views
Big, juicy, fat, rich and concentrated with layers of sweet, ripe fruits. Lush and long, the wine has at least another 10 years of pleasure to go. Popped and poured was the way to go.
Jul 27, 2015points - Tasted 2178 Views
Beautiful, full throttle style of Syrah. It’s already open for business with its lush qualities and layers of ripe, peppery, juicy Syrah.
Sep 20, 2005points - Tasted 1942 Views
Deep in color with a powerful nose filled with spice, licorice, earth, black and blue fruit, caramel, oak and smoke. The wine offers intense purity of fruit, silky textures and an opulent, fresh, sweet, ripe finish. Everything is in perfect balance and harmony.
Dec 11, 2012points - Tasted 3358 Views
The wine pops with a sweet, fresh, smoked cherry tobacco aromatic that is complicated by black cherry, cassis, earth and oyster shell. On the palate, the wine is lush, sensuous, rich and deep, ending with a fresh, precise, black cherry finish. The fruit offers a beautiful sense of purity along with opulent textures. This is a beautiful expression of California wine.
Dec 11, 2012points - Tasted 3102 Views
Incense, spicy black cherries, smoke, caramel, black and black fruit with a soft, round, finish, which is marred by a touch of heat and dryness on the back end.
Dec 10, 2012points - Tasted 3274 Views
The wine displayed notes of fresh picked blackberries, oak, cassi, licorice and earth. This full bodied, soft textured wine was marred by a slight bitter note in the finish.
Apr 15, 2006points - Tasted 1889 Views
Smoke, espresso bean, caramel, barbecue, blackberry, cherries and earthy scents are all over the place. In the mouth, the wine is full bodied, rich and intense, with a plush textural sensation. The only minor drawback is a minor a note of dryness in the cherry finish.
Sep 23, 2015points - Tasted 2309 Views
Smoke, coffee, licorice, fresh coffee beans, blueberries, blackberries and chocolate aromas mane up the powerful aromas. Silky, elegant and rich, the wine coats your mouth with layers of fruit that feels like it was polished with velvet cloth before being crushed.
Mar 9, 2011points - Tasted 2572 Views
Silky, polished, elegant, fresh, lush, sensuous, ripe, fresh and pure, what more can I say? At 20 years of age, this is drinking great today.
Dec 9, 2015points - Tasted 2268 Views
With a nose of pepper, jammy black raspberries, fresh herbs, stone, oak, incense, and licorice, the wine feels soft on the entry, but there is a minor sensation of dryness to the otherwise, concentrated, lush, ripe, fruit filled finish.
Dec 10, 2012points - Tasted 3068 Views
Still going strong at 22 years of age, this is only example that shows how well the new age of California Cabernet Sauvignon can age. Full bodied, and concentrated, the ripe, sweet intense, dark red fruits, luscious textures and liberal dose of chocolate, boysenberry, licorice, tobacco and earth in the end really lingers.
Apr 14, 2017points - Tasted 1474 Views
Spicy, smoky, oaky, silky, soft, polished and overtly woody, this is not holding up as well as most other vintages of Colgin, which usually age much better.
Dec 9, 2015points - Tasted 2181 Views
This rich, deep, opulently textured wine displayed cassis, dark berries, licorice, chocolate and a moderate sensation of dill, coupled with with herbaceous notes in the aromatics. According to Ann Colgin, the dill aromas are from Herb Lamb Vineyard and not from the barrels, as Colgin uses 100% new French oak. This full bodied, lush wine is probably at its peak and should be consumed sooner than later.
Apr 21, 2005points - Tasted 2723 Views
Pepper, flowers, cherry and dill in the nose open to a soft, polished, silky, sweet, fresh wine. This delivers a licorice, vanilla and opulent, sensuous, rich, sweet, dark cherry finish that really lingers.
Mar 3, 2014points - Tasted 2010 Views
Black and blue fruit, caramel, smoke and floral aromas lead to a round, wine with mature textures and a ripe, sweet, fleshy, jammy berry finish.
Dec 10, 2012points - Tasted 2614 Views