Divine invited and I dropped everything to get a chance to taste the wines from Colgin. Paul Roberts from the estate presented the wines and their Napa origin with enthusiasm and energy.
The 12 Cariad with its blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 9% Petit Verdot, is a masterpiece. The nose oozes up from the glass with stunning notes of ripe black currants, plums, moist earth, decaying flowers and fried herbs. Absolutely stunning. Multi layered and refined. Marvellous.
The taste is packed full of the most perfect black currants imaginable combined with notes of sweet minerals, warm herbs, dried plums and cocoa. Its like drinking velvet yet it packs some polished tannins underneath. This is brilliant.
97p (tasted 2016/02)
The 10 Cariad is even closer to perfect. This gorgeous blend of 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc and 10% Petit Verdot has a depth, concentration and intensity that is hard to describe. The sweet black currants and plums intermingled with notes of woodsmoke, warm herbs, rowan berries and licorice makes up a spine tingling nose. A lovely perfumed aroma. Breathtakingly beautiful.
The taste is all that the nose promise to be, with perfect fruit, a fabulous structure, a two minute long finish, making this wine a seamsless experience. A fantastic minerality. My notebook then have profanity written in it, to describe this wines greatness, but I won´t repeat it here. A truly great wine.
99p (tasted 2016/02)
2012 IX Estate
Oh boy, my first perfect wine of 2016. At first I thought the two Cariad´s were the better wines, but this gained momentum with every passing minute and sip, and it came roaring past them during the tasting. The most perfect black currants fruit has a beautiful perfumed note to them, to go alongside the notes of warm tiles, sandelwood, plums and cocoa. The purity of this wine is mindboggling, you have to smell it to believe it. Faultless.
The taste is the stuff of fairy tales, for can this be real? There is perfection down on a molecule level, and I will not jot down all that I found in this wine, but suffice to say, if you have to steal or embezzle to get hold of a bottle, do, it will be worth the prison time. Made out of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc and 8% Petit Verdot, this will easy make my Most Memorable list when 2016 has ended.
100p (tasted 2016/02)
2006 IX Estate
Since I am a genuine necrophiliac I thought I would go for this older version of the IX Estate. Sadly not. It is a very good wine, make no mistake about it, but it didn´t really do it for me. The nose is big and bold with sweet notes of plums, black currant jam, dried flowers, smoke and Christmas spices. Not only smoke, there is a whiff of something burnt, may it be fruit, wood or rubber. From time to time I get a glimpse of - a good one, mind you - a Amarone, and that is, in my book, not good.
The taste is tight, concentrated and a bit forceful with notes of cooked black currants, plums, flower water and some burnt rubber. A long, warm finish with some, in comparison to the wines above, unsofisticated tannins. It seems like a hard judgement, but the three previous wines set the bar very, very high. It is in fact a very, very good wine and on its own I would surely have it enjoyed it more. Made out of 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot.
92p (tasted 2016/02)
2012 IX Estate Syrah
The 12 Syrah is a charmer with its opulent nose, full of ripe blackberries, dark cookie dough, violets, bloody meat and some dried strawberries, very interesting and yummy. Some smoke notes after a while. Really good.
The taste is young, tight and seedy with notes of lightly peppered meat, blueberry pie, dried flowers and violets. A long, peppery finish with ripe tannins and a fine acidity. Very young and for now, highly gulpable.
93p (tasted 2016/02)
2011 IX Estate Syrah
The 11 is a stark contrast to the 12´s exuberance, with its elegance and fine notes of blueberries, bay leaves, earth and crushed white peppar. Very cool and very fine. This I like more. Balanced.
The taste is tight and focused with notes of blueberries, rowan berries, veal stock and lots and lots of minerals. A long, refined finish with a fine dryness. A class act.
95p (tasted 2016/02)