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What is so remarkable about the 1994 and 1995 offerings is that they are aged in 100% new French oak, yet the wood's influence is extremely subtle. In addition to their power, richness, and fullness, another hallmark of the Colgin wines is the vibrant blueberry, boysenberry, cassis character that roars from the glass.
The potentially perfect 1994 Cabernet Sauvignon is a totally dry wine, but the sweetness and taste of this wine's fruit is akin to a savory blend of a chocolate-covered, blueberry/cassis-filled candy bar and vanilla ice cream melting in the mouth. This full-bodied wine is silky, seductive, opulent, voluptuously-textured, and extraordinarily fragrant, expansive, and rich. In spite of this, the wine remains graceful and well-balanced, without any sense of heaviness, or obtrusive tannin or acidity. I clearly underrated the 1994 from my earliest barrel tastings, but the last two times I have had it, from barrel immediately prior to bottling and in bottle, have persuaded me that this wine is one of the most exciting and remarkable young Cabernet Sauvignons I have tasted! It should drink well for another 25-30 years. Damn, I adore this wine!
For my taste, there are five potentially perfect Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines from the remarkable 1994 vintage. The 1994 Dominus, 1994 Harlan Estate, 1994 Bryant Family Reserve, 1994 Colgin-Schrader, and 1994 Shafer Hillside Select are all candidates for three-digit scores. Colgin, whose wines are made by Helen Turley, is a newcomer to the Cabernet sweepstakes, having debuted with a brilliant 1992, which was followed by an even more prodigious 1993. I have had the 1994 on four separate occasions, and the last two times it has been virtually perfect. Moreover, the 1995 is another extraordinary success, although production in 1995 was a minuscule 100 cases. However, proprietors Ann Colgin and Fred Schrader have purchased a 5-acre vineyard near the Grace Family Vineyard, just across the street from Freemark Abbey, so production of what will be two Cabernets will increase in several years.
*Vintage shown in the image does not correspond to the actual vintage.