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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 2007 vintage was defined by an exceptionally good growing season from beginning to end. The Napa Valley received just 60% of normal rainfall, encouraging our vines to begin bud break a week ahead of schedule. A mild spring followed, with several light rains that helped the vines to cope with the mild drought. Sunny, beautiful weather during bloom resulted in fruitful clusters that were uniform in size and maturity. A wonderfully moderate summer followed, with cooler than average temperatures, allowing for slow, even development of the berries. By late August, the berries were intensely pigmented and showing signs of outstanding quality. A short heat wave around Labor Day resulted in our earliest picking of Merlot ever at Colgin. But cool weather soon followed, allowing the Cabernet to hang longer, and to develop ripe tannins, with great natural acidity. Overall, the 2007 vintage was truly a winemaker's dream. The wines are defined by their intense color, their deep aromatics, and their coating and supple tannins.
Winemaker notes from Allison Tauziet:
"We couldn't be more thrilled that our final wine from the Herb Lamb Vineyard comes from such an outstanding vintage. In fact, the conditions in 2007 were absolutely ideal for this property. The long, moderate season gave us enough time to gently ripen the tannins, while still preserving the distinctive flavors that we come to expect from this vineyard.
The 2007 Herb Lamb vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon has an intense nose of licorice, chocolate mint and cassis. Nuances of forest floor and loamy earth bring terroir and character to the wine. On the palate, the tannins have a lovely coating quality, but are structured for long aging. The 2007 has perhaps the most silky tannins we've experienced at this stage in the wine's youth. Given the classic quality of the vintage, the wine will age for 20 to 30 years. We recommend a minimum of 5 years of cellaring to fully appreciate the wine."
We released 178 cases of the 2007 "Herb Lamb Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon in March 2011. Release price $290.