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97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The saturated black/purple-colored 1996 Cabernet Sauvignon Herb Lamb Vineyard displays this winery's hallmark - a provocative nose of blueberry jam, orchid flowers, and smoky new oak intertwined with cassis. Additional aromas of licorice and exotic Asian spices emerge as the wine sits in the glass. Extremely full-bodied and rich, with more noticeable tannin than the 1997, this large-scaled yet extraordinarily rich wine is like drinking cassis/blueberry liqueur. Its sweet tannin and remarkable 40+-second finish are amazing. This wine is aged in 100% new Taransaud barrels for 18 months, and bottled with no fining or filtration. Drink through 2022.
Ann Colgin’s wines stand out as one of the most refined styles of wines produced in Napa Valley. They show distinctive purity of the ripe black fruits, refined tannin structure and extremely elegant flavor profiles. This wine makes no exception. The hundred percent Cabernet Sauvignon from the Herb Lamb Vineyard, has been the hallmark wine of Colgin Cellars from its debut in 1992.
In early 1990s, Ann made a long-term contract with the vineyard owners, Jennifer and Herb Lamb, that she had an exclusive access
to the top vine rows of this small, 7.4 acre, vineyard lying on an elevation of 600 to 800 feet on well-drained rocky soils of St Helena.
In hands of the legendary Napa Valley winemaker Helen Turley, who was winemaker for Colgin Cellars 1992-1999,these terroir-driven grapes were transformed into a wine that
caught the eye of the powerful critics and Colgin’s fame as one of the top-rated producers was written.
“Our winemaking philosophy has always been to express the true character of each unique vineyard site”, Ann Colgin explains.
The grapes are harvested during the night and go through three sortings,starting in the vineyards. The final sort takes place in the
winery, where 15 people will do the final grape by grape sorting before crushing the grapes. Moving the grapes, juice or wine is
done by gravity. The barrels, tanks and vinification equipment,along with the basket presses, are of the highest quality. Only the
finest neo-classical winemaking methods are used in concert with small yields, gentle handling, attentive sorting and meticulous
blending to capture the distinctive terroir characteristics of each Colgin wine.
We blend talent with terroir, tradition with technology and passion with precision to create wines with distinctive personalities
and a profound sense of place.” Ann Colgin sums up.
While the Herb Lamb Cabernet Sauvignon was for a long time thebenchmark wine of Colgin, the saga came to an end in 2007,which was the final vintage Colgin made this hailed wine. The declining health of the twenty-year-old vineyard made it difficult to continue to maintain the high quality level displayed in all of the other Colgin wines.
Young and intense nose with blackberry, dark cherry, plum, toast and a cool mint top note. Tighter grained tannins imply it will continue to improve and round out in the bottle. Drink now through 2022. Service: Serve straight from the bottle, with care to avoid stirring up the precipitates. Food Pairing: Braised meats.