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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.
The 2005 vintage marked the first year that we had master viticulturalist, David Abreu, manage the Herb Lamb vineyard from beginning to end. Through skillful pruning and careful management of the vines and their fruit, we were able to produce the best quality grapes to date from this special vineyard. In order to achieve this, we thinned the fruit to record low levels, thus making for the tiniest release ever for this wine.
Winemaker notes from Allison Tauziet:
"From day one, the 2005 Herb Lamb Vineyard Cabernet has been an incredibly fragrant wine in the making. With a beautiful ruby pitch, the wine shows an amazing concentration of flavors. Earthy notes of truffle and forest floor intermingle with brooding aromas of black fruits, resin, chocolate mint and smoked meats, making for a very seductive Herb Lamb Cabernet. The wine is at once supple and rich, revealing great breadth across the palate. The softened texture of the tannin make this vintage of Herb Lamb Cabernet remarkably delicious at release, but this wine will undoubtedly improve with a minimum of 5 years of age, and last 20-25 years.
The fruit was fermented with indigenous yeast and macerated for a total of 52 days on the skins. After aging in all new French oak barrels in our cold barrel chais, the freshness of this wine was perfectly preserved as we bottled it without fining or filtration in June 2007."
We released 110 cases of the 2005 "Herb Lamb Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon in November 2008. Release price $290.