The 2008 vintage was shaped by the La Nina weather pattern. Colgin experienced just 60% of their average rainfall in the Napa Valley, and most of that rain came in the winter time and tapered off in mid March. Because of the dry spring, the dry soils prompted the vines to push their growth earlier than usual. This would set the stage for the remainder of the season.
With a dry spring, vines naturally produced less fruit than average during bloom in May. Several heat events in the summer sped up the season but also helped to bring uniformity to the ripeness of the fruit, causing the berries to change color simultaneously. A heat wave at the beginning of September started the harvest off fast and furiously with Merlot and Syrah. Soon the weather cooled off, allowing the cabernet to ripen slowly and be picked at the end of September. Crops were quite tiny, but the results are elegant wines with great structure and concentration.
The Colgin Syrah is vinified from four separate one acre parcels at IX Estate each with its own site specific attributes. All four plots have a different clone and rootstock combination along with soil changes which create four distinctive components. To craft the most complex final blend, Colgin ferments and ages all lots separately, selecting only the finest barrels. Fermentation and maceration resulted in an average vatting time of 30 to 35 days. After 19 months of barrel ageing this Syrah was bottled in May 2010 without fining or filtration.
Tasting Notes from Winemaker Allison Tauziet:
One word comes to mind as I taste the 2008 IX Estate Syrah before its release: perfume. This vintage of our syrah boasts some of the most feminine and exotic aromas we've ever had in this wine. Effusive notes of violets, talc and jasmine tea mingle in the glass, along with a very savory note of the classic bacon fat and cured meats. A beautiful aroma of tangerine rind lingers also on the nose. On the palate, the texture is both silky and unctuous. Despite its full bodied flavor, the wine possesses great elegance. With a long decantation, the wine can be enjoyed in the next few years, but will evolve and gain complexity for at least 10 years.