My favorite of the 2005 Colgins is the 2005 IX Proprietary Red Estate, a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The good news is that there are 1,500 cases of this blockbuster wine, which has a Bordeaux framework but the exuberance and richness as well as fruit purity of a great Napa wine. Deep purple in color with an extraordinary nose of scorched earth, blueberries, and black currants intermixed with some subtle charcoal notes, spice, box and spring flowers, it is very full-bodied, but beautifully structured and well-delineated. With good acidity despite what is an extremely high pH (3.9), the total acids are reasonable. This is a beauty of harmony, power, and great intensity, but it is light on its feet, and an exceptional example of what this high-elevation hillside estate vineyard is capable of producing. This wine should hit its prime in 5-6 years and last for three or more decades.
Things are changing at this stunningly beautiful winery and estate (around 20 acres at the home property) overlooking Lake Hennessey at an elevation of 900-1,000 feet. The famed wine consultant Dr. Alain Raynaud from Bordeaux remains a fixture as an outside influence coming in to lend his expertise, but well-known winemaker Mark Aubert has left the premises, replaced by his assistant Allison Tauziet. The vineyard manager for the stars and mega-millionaires of Napa, David Abreu, remains in charge of overseeing everything from pruning to canopy management to crop-thinning decisions, and as everyone knows, he is a perfectionist. And of course, the guiding lights remain the proprietors, Ann Colgin, and her husband, Joe Wender.