Colgin Cellars (Vineyards, Taste, Best Wines 2021)

Anthony Zhang

How did Colgin Cellars become a Napa Valley cult winery, and which of its vintages should you buy in 2021?

Colgin Cellars has established itself as one of the most acclaimed New World wineries. It’s first growth wines enjoy a cult status among wine enthusiasts and collectors - thanks to their limited production, age-ability, and investment potential.

Let’s explore Colgin Cellars’ vineyards, winemaking, and their best vintages to buy in 2021. Also, discover a hassle-free way to invest in such iconic wines.

Further reading

Want to invest in fine wines? Check out This Handy Guide on Wine Investment.
If Italian classics interest you, don’t miss out on these exquisite Massetos, sassy Sassicaias, and delicious Ornellaia wines!

This Article Contains:

(Click on the links below to go to a specific section)

  1. 2002 Colgin Cellars Tychson Hill Cabernet Sauvignon
  2. 2016 Colgin Cellars Tychson Hill Cabernet Sauvignon
  3. 2017 Colgin Cellars Cariad Red
  4. 2016 Colgin Cellars Cariad Red
  5. 2018 Colgin Cellars IX Estate Red
  6. 2002 Colgin Cellars IX Estate Red
  7. 2010 Colgin Cellars IX Estate Syrah
  8. 2016 Colgin Cellars IX Estate Syrah
  9. 1997 Colgin Cellars Herb Lamb Cabernet Sauvignon
  10. 2007 Colgin Cellars Herb Lamb Cabernet Sauvignon

A Quick Intro To Colgin Cellars

Colgin Cellars
Colgin Cellars

Colgin Cellars is a winery situated in the Napa Valley wine region of California. Despite being relatively young, the wine estate (founded in the 1990s) has managed to seal its position among the most prestigious New World producers of red wine.

Colgin Cellars produces four signature wine styles:

  • Tychson Hill Cabernet Sauvignon: A Colgin Cellar star, this delicate red wine is a singular expression of Cabernet Sauvignon from the Tychson Hill vineyard.

  • IX Estate Red: This dark and aromatic colgin wine is a Bordeaux-style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot.

  • Cariad Red: Another Bordeaux blend that comes from the Cariad vineyard and is named after the Welsh word for love.

  • IX Estate Syrah: This aromatic wine is made with grapes from vine plantings cloned from the Cote-Rotie and Hermitage appellations in Northern Rhone, France.

Many of Colgin’s finest wines, such as the 2002 Tychson Hill and the 2010 Cariad, have earned 100-point ratings from wine critic Robert Parker. He also named Colgin “One of the Fifty Greatest Wine Estates in the World.”

Let’s go back to where it all started.

Colgin Cellars - A Brief History

Colgin Cellars

The seed for Colgin Cellars was sown when its founder Ann Colgin attended the Napa Valley Wine Auctions in 1988 and fell in love with the place.

The winery was founded in 1992 when Ann started sourcing grapes from Herb Lamb vineyards in Howell Mountains to make her first vintage, which was released in 1995.

During 1996-97, Ann purchased and replanted a historic vineyard site and named it Tychson Hill.

This hillside vineyard was originally planted in the 1880s by Josephine Tychson (the first female vintner in the Napa Valley.)

In the next few years, Ann and her future husband Joe Wender acquired two more vineyard plots in the Napa Valley, each with a distinct terroir.

With three operational vineyards, Colgin Cellars gradually scaled up their wine production to 4,000 cases a year today.

In 2017, Colgin Cellars joined hands with the leading luxury conglomerate Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH), headed by Bernard Arnault.

The LVMH Group now owns a 60% stake in the winery, while the founders Ann Colgin and her husband, Joe Wender, retain the rest as well as their leadership positions.

Colgin's unique heritage also made it the only American wine label to feature in LVMH’s Vins de Exception Group, alongside illustrious names like Chateau Cheval Blanc, Château D’Yquem, and Domaine du Clos des Lambrays.

The Colgin Vineyards

Ann Colgin chose her vineyard sites strategically to get the best of what Napa Valley’s terroir has to offer.

Let’s take a tour of the Colgin Vineyards and their winemaking methods:

1. Tychson Hill Vineyards

Tychson Hill Vineyards
Tychson Hill Vineyards

The historic Tychson Hill vineyards, located north of St. Helena town is spread across six acres. The soil at these exceptional hillside vineyards has a volcanic origin and is known as ‘Aiken very stony loam.’

The sharp difference between the day and night temperatures in the vineyard delays the ripening of the fruit.

It results in a complex yet delectable expression of Cabernet Sauvignon with smokey, fruity, and floral overtones.

2. Cariad Vineyard

Cariad Vineyard
Cariad Vineyard

The Cariad Vineyard on the western hills of St. Helena is owned and managed by the famous viticulturist David Abreu. Colgin Cellars uses the vineyards under a long-term lease to make their Cariad Red, the first vintage of which, was produced in 1999.

The eight acres of plantation on these vineyards comprise three main plots – the Madrona Ranch, Howell Mountain, and Thorevilos.

The rocky volcanic soils at the Howell Mountain and other vineyards, together with optimal climate, helps produce a deep and full-bodied Bordeaux style wine — a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot.

3. The IX Estate Vineyard

The IX Estate Vineyard
The IX Estate Vineyard

In 1999, Ann Colgin and her husband Joe Wender purchased this high-altitude estate in the Pritchard Hill area of Napa Valley.

The IX Estate vineyard comprises 20 different plots spread across 20 acres on a slope overlooking Lake Hennessey. This Pritchard Hill area plot is also called the number nine estate to memorialize the date (9/9/2000) Ann and Joe got married on this spectacular hillside vineyard.

In the words of Robert Parker, the IX Estate is “as close to a viticultural nirvana as I’ve ever seen.”

The winemaking team ferments each of the twenty plots separately to preserve and track each varietal’s traits.

Let’s explore more about the winemaking processes here.

Winemaking At Colgin Cellars

Winemaking At Colgin Cellars

The IX Estate hosts the Colgin Winery, where master winemaker Allison Tauziet (Director of Winemaking at Colgin) oversees the production.

The vinification starts with soaking the grapes for roughly 25-30 days. Fermentation is usually done at temperatures ranging from moderately low to mid-20°C.

The wines are then aged in 100% new French oak barrels for roughly two years. They are then sent for bottling with minimal racking.

A key factor that helps the Colgin winery to beat their own quality standards consistently, is the continuity in its winemaking team.

Colgin has only had three winemakers since the beginning. Two of them, Mark Aubert and winemaker Allison Tauziet, also served as assistant winemakers for years before they took charge.

In 2013, Master Sommelier Paul Roberts joined Colgin Cellars as their Chief Operating Officer.

Let’s check out the best Colgin vintages to add to your collection in 2021.

Best Vintages from Colgin Cellar in 2021

Here are our top picks of the most exceptional Colgin Cellar wines:

1. 2002 Colgin Cellars Tychson Hill Cabernet Sauvignon

2002 Colgin Cellars Tychson Hill Cabernet Sauvignon

With a perfect-100 score, the 2002 Tychson Hill wine was the third Cabernet Sauvignon vintage from the iconic vineyards.

This deep red wine has gorgeous aromas of raspberry, white chocolate, graphite, and acacia flowers. On the palate, it has hints of red fruit, earth, and minerals. The wine has ripe and supple tannins and a discernible aftertaste.

Price of 2002 Colgin Cellars Tychson Hill Cabernet Sauvignon: $758

2. 2016 Colgin Cellars Tychson Hill Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

2016 Colgin Cellars Tychson Hill Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

2016 Colgin Cellars Tychson Hill Cabernet Sauvignon welcomes you with exotic notes of rose, lavender, dark cherry, plum, and black currant. There’s a long and pleasurable aftertaste on the palate.

Price of 2016 Colgin Cellars Tychson Hill Cabernet Sauvignon: $710

3. 2017 Colgin Cellars Cariad Red

2017 Colgin Cellars Cariad Red

The 2017 Colgin Cariad Red reflects the character of all the vintages that came before it.

Its purple-black color and initial wafts of blackberry, plum, and licorice are sure to entice any wine enthusiast! The wine has a dense texture, silky tannins, and a long mineral finish on the palate.

Price of 2017 Colgin Cellars Cariad Red: $685

4. 2016 Colgin Cellars Cariad Red

2016 Colgin Cellars Cariad Red

“Inviting and magnetic” is how Colgin Cellars describes its magnificent 2016 Cariad Red.

Rich and heady notes of dark fruit, licorice, dry spices, and incense create an intoxicating, almost hypnotic effect.

The rocky volcanic soils of Cariad vineyards lend this vintage a strong minerality. On the palate, it is full-bodied with layers of fruit and tannin.

Price of 2016 Colgin Cellars Cariad Red: $684

5. 2018 Colgin Cellars IX Estate Red

2018 Colgin Cellars IX Estate Red

A 100-point rating from Robert Parker is a testament to the fantastic quality of the 2018 IX Estate Red.

Tasting notes of granite, charcoal, sage, and savory spices give this incredible wine a bold and brooding character.

You can taste wild blueberry, black cherry, and hints of spices like turmeric and ginger. On the palate, it offers sculpted tannins with a touch of minerality.

Price of 2018 Colgin Cellars IX Estate Red: $875

6. 2002 Colgin Cellars IX Estate Red

2002 Colgin Cellars IX Estate Red

Often termed as “a perfect wine” by the critics, the 2002 IX Estate Red would delight any fine wine connoisseur.

Fresh aromas of cherries and raspberries are combined with spices like tamarind and pepper. With time, it progresses to more earthy and smokey notes. The supple and ripe tannin gives it a rich mouthfeel.

Price of 2002 Colgin Cellars IX Estate Red: $700

7. 2010 Colgin Cellars IX Estate Syrah

2010 Colgin Cellars IX Estate Syrah

In addition to the typical orange blossom and violet notes, the IX Estate Syrah has intense smoked meat flavors.

This contrasting mix of meaty and floral notes in this incredible wine will remind you of the iconic wines from Northern Rhone.

Price of 2010 Colgin Cellars IX Estate Syrah: $542

8. 2016 Colgin Cellars IX Estate Syrah

2016 Colgin Cellars IX Estate Syrah

The multi-faceted 2016 vintage of IX Estate Syrah has a coastal vibe thanks to distinct sea breeze notes. Additionally, the nose gives off wild notes of game meat and Nicoise olives.

Delicious flavors of black cherry and dark licorice explode on the palate, along with hints of cracked pepper and graphite.

Price of 2016 Colgin Cellars IX Estate Syrah: $410

9. 1997 Colgin Cellars Herb Lamb Cabernet Sauvignon

1997 Colgin Cellars Herb Lamb Cabernet Sauvignon

This Napa wine is made by vinifying just the top seven rows of the fruit, truly reflecting the winemaker's craft.

The 1997 Herb Lamb vintage opens with rich aromas of plum jam, roasted coffee, and caramel, along with smokey and earthy notes. On the palate, the wine is dense with an extracted mouthfeel.

Price of 1997 Colgin Cellars Herb Lamb Cabernet Sauvignon: $782

10. 2007 Colgin Cellars Herb Lamb Cabernet Sauvignon

2007 Colgin Cellars Herb Lamb Cabernet Sauvignon

This outstanding 2007 vintage was the last Colgin wine to come from the Herb Lamb vineyard.

You’ll be welcomed with an intense nose of licorice, cassis, and chocolate mint. The palate offers silky tannins and will keep evolving as the wine ages for twenty to thirty years.

Colgin recommends at least five years of cellar aging to appreciate its taste fully.

Price of 2007 Colgin Cellars Herb Lamb Cabernet Sauvignon: $682

Should You Invest in Colgin Wines?

Invest in Colgin Wines

Colgin wines command high prices and receive great accolades from critics year after year.

The exquisitely handcrafted red wines of the Colgin winery age well, and most bottles hit their prime around the 20-year mark.  

A 100-point wine approaching maturity may offer significantly higher returns on its initial value, especially the first-growth wines. For example, the 2002 Colgin Cellars IX Estate Red price hit a new high in January 2021 ($932), an appreciation of over 70% from January 2020 ($532.)

Colgin Cellars also impresses at auctions. At a 2011 auction, the IX Estate Red (2007 vintage) fetched $610 for a bottle that initially cost $290.

However, their limited production and unique distribution strategy make it extremely hard to get hold of a bottle. Often, Colgin Cellars' offerings are distributed only to their exclusive mailing list members and specialty retailers like Sotheby’s.

But how do you buy an authentic bottle of Colgin wine without having to be an insider in the wine world?

Buy Colgin Cellars and Other Rare Wines Through Vinovest


Vinovest is an online wine investment company that helps you buy, authenticate, sell, and store fine wines from anywhere in the world.

How it Works?

Getting started is simple:

  • Sign up on the Vinovest platform.
  • Fill out a questionnaire to share your investment preferences and risk appetite.
  • Fund your account with a minimum of $1,000.
  • Customize your portfolio through personalized wine suggestions and watch it grow while you sip on a classy Barbera d’Asti!


Here are some more benefits of using Vinovest:

1. Buy and Sell Authentic Wines with Ease

Vinovest’s AI-based platform helps you buy and sell fine wines like Pouilly-Fuissé, Chateau Lafite, Burgundy, or Pomerol wine from the comfort of your home, with just a few clicks. The team goes the extra length to trace your wine’s provenance and make sure it’s authentic.

2. Best Prices

When you buy a Chateau Cheval Blanc or any other bottle through Vinovest, rest assured that you pay a fair price without any middleman or retailer markups. Vinovest sources your wines directly from the winemaker, merchants, or wine exchanges at wholesale rates.

3. Curated Portfolio by an Expert Wine Advisory Team

You don’t have to be a wine connoisseur to build a wine portfolio. The Vinovest team of world-class sommeliers and data scientists helps you build a portfolio of high-performing wines.

As a result, you get to spend your time on the right things — lounging with a Champagne Cocktail, say a Kir Royale – and not worrying about the technicalities of wine investing!

5. Deep Network

Vinovest gives you access to an extensive wine network and timely information on upcoming vineyards, private sales of wine companies, and limited releases of new wines.

You can even attend wine tasting sessions with Master Sommeliers, often in the company of reputed winemakers and celebrities.

6. Optimal Storage and Safety

With Vinovest, your precious collection always stays safe and secure.

Its professional warehouses are strategically situated next to the world’s best wine regions, reducing excessive movement and vibration that could damage the wine.

These warehouses also maintain perfect light, temperature, vibration, and humidity conditions.

7. Low Overall Costs

Apart from your investment amount, Vinovest charges a minimal annual fee of 2.85% (or 2.5% for a portfolio of above $50,000.)

This fee includes wine purchases and storage costs, fraud detection, insurance, portfolio management, and selling.

8. Easy Delivery

Vinovest ensures that your Cabernet Franc, Chateau Cheval Blanc, or any other wine bottle gets safely delivered to you or the counterparty buyer (in case you sell it for a profit.) You can even ship your wine as a gift to a friend.

Ready to Add a Napa Valley Classic to your Collection?

Add a Napa Valley Classic to your Collection

Over the years, Colgin Cellar has built a solid reputation as a maker of exquisitely handcrafted red wines with good investment potential.

Their Cabernet Sauvignon-based vintages age exceptionally well and certainly deserve a place in your collection.

Getting a Colgin's wine bottle for yourself can be a challenge, though. But not when you have a platform like Vinovest to assist you!

So, why not sign up today and start exploring the world of investment wines?

Further reading

Step into the world of fabulous Red Wines in This Incredibly Useful Red Wine Guide!

Written by

Anthony Zhang

Anthony is a repeat entrepreneur who has previously founded and sold two companies, EnvoyNow and KnowYourVC. He has also held leadership positions at Blockfolio and is a board member at RateMyInvestor.