Good medium red. Aromas of black fruits, violet, licorice and bacon fat complicated by pepper and herbs; one can sense the heat of the vintage. Juicy, tightly wound and rather powerful, with its salty, penetrating dark berry and licorice flavors showing good energy and a serious tannic edge but still evolving. (Winemaker Tauziet referred to the wine’s "hot/cool aromas and flavors.") Production in 2003 jumped to 250 cases from 2002’s 100 cases, but the estate nonetheless dropped a lot of crop in ’03.
Anticipated maturity: 2017-2026
Robert Parker 96
The 2003 IX Estate Proprietary Red is a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot and rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot from their steep hillside vineyards. The youngest, tightest, most masculine wine of this quartet, it will benefit from another 5-6 years of cellaring and should have 25 years of life ahead of it. This impressive, blue/purple-colored 2003 behaves more like a 4- to 5-year-old wine than one that is a decade old. It is just beginning to strut its full potential. There is a roasted meaty character to this beauty, along with plenty of cassis, blackberries, blueberries, incense and spring flower notes. It admirably reveals the great terroir Ann Colgin and her husband, Joe Wender, have unlocked high above Lake Hennessey. When Colgin’s 2003s were made, winemaker Mark Aubert was working with Bordeaux consultant Dr. Alain Raynaud. Both remember 2003 as a year of small yields with a wet spring, a moderate summer, and huge heat spikes during the third week of September. Tel. (707) 963-0999