Colgin, one of California's hottest cult wineries, will not bottle the 1999 vintage of its new Tychson Hill Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, following a winemaking error by the Napa Valley Wine Co. Colgin uses the staff and facilities of the custom-crush company to help produce its high-end Cabernet.
"We have long anticipated the first harvest of Tychson Hill," said owner Ann Colgin, who bought the 2.5-acre property in 1996 and had been waiting for the vines to mature. "We were extremely excited about the quality of the fruit." The vineyard produced enough wine for 150 cases, which would have been worth about $225,000.
Neither Colgin nor her winemaker, Mark Aubert, were present when the blunder occurred. "It was a blending mistake," said Rob Lawson, general manager of Napa Valley Wine Co. "An addition was made that should not have been made."
Aubert said that an addition destined for one of the Napa Valley Wine Co.'s vats of Zinfandel was mistakenly put into the Tychson Hill Cabernet. "It might not have been too awful, but the Zinfandel vat was three times as big as ours," said Aubert.
"It's an unfortunate thing," said Colgin. "I don't know what will happen from here. I've had a great relationship with the Napa Valley Wine Co. and would prefer to keep making wine there."
Colgin acquired Tychson Hill, located along Highway 29 in St. Helena, to bolster her winery's production. The winery currently makes a minuscule 200 to 450 cases of wine each year with grapes purchased from the Herb Lamb Vineyard, also in Napa Valley. The Colgin Cabernet Sauvignon Herb Lamb Vineyard 1996, the current release, sells for $110 a bottle.
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