COBB Wines 2018 'Coastlands Vineyard: Diane Cobb', Sonoma Coast, California, USA - DECANTsf

COBB Wines 2018 'Coastlands Vineyard: Diane Cobb', Sonoma Coast, California, USA

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  • Winemaker: Ross Cobb
  • Variety: Pinot Noir
  • Farming: Practicing Organic
  • Vinification: Hand-harvested, 50% Whole Cluster Fermentation
  • Aging: 34 months in barrel, 30% new French oak.
  • ABV: 13.2% alcohol. Production: 188 cases produced.
  • Scores: 97 points, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate; 95 points, Vinous


From our April 2022 Serious Inquiries Only bottle club notes:

COBB Wines | Diane Cobb: Coastlands Vineyard Pinot Noir \ Sonoma Coast, California | 2018

The Coastlands Vineyard was planted in 1989 by David Cobb, a pioneer of the true West Sonoma Coast. After spending years studying soils and climate as a  marine ecologist, David Cobb saw a similarity in the terroirs of Burgundy and the ridgetops of Sonoma Coast. He and his wife Diane planted a mix of Pinot Noir clones here, and after a few years began selling these grapes to top Northern California winemakers. 

    During this time, their son Ross Cobb studied agroecology and sustainable agriculture at UC Santa Cruz and would work on the farm on his summers off, planting and tending to vines. Influenced by his family’s business, Ross made the transition to winemaking and worked under some of the greatest California winemakers of the nineties: Randall Grahm at Bonny Doon, Bert Williams and Bob Cabral of Williams-Selyem, and Hugh Chappelle at Flowers. In 2001, with nearly a decade of experience behind him, Ross convinced his father to make their own wine from their vineyards, and in 2001, COBB Wines was born. For the first vintage of Coastlands Vineyard Pinot Noir, Ross produced 130 cases, but was still the assistant winemaker at Flowers. It would be a few more years before Cobb Wines found its singular voice in the ocean of Pinot Noir, but Ross’s constant attention to detail, focusing on terroir-driven, complex, single-vineyard wines with a lower-alcohol expression and modest integration of French oak was soon recognized both by consumers, other winemakers, and finally, the spotlight of the top wine journalists.

    This wine, the Diane Cobb: Coastlands Vineyard, is from the heart of the estate. A single 1.5-acre block of own-rooted Pinot Noir that the late Diane Cobb planted in 1989 on uplifted marine sedimentary soils at 1150ft. It is a ‘field blend’ of over 20 clones, as Diane thought of this block as a nursery, monitoring how each clone adapted to its extreme coastal terroir. All of the clones are hand-harvested together, and then 50% of this wine is fermented whole-cluster, bringing some of the spicy-savory characteristics of the brown stems and seeds macerated together with the thicker, cold-climate fruit skins. After a slow fermentation in neutral barrels, the wine is aged for 22 months, 30% of it in new French barrels, and then blended together before bottling. We taste smokey-sweet tobacco leaf, wild cranberries, and exotic spices. This wine has some elevated tannin and notes of dark cloves when young which will mellow with age, however, that spice will stick around. Try will savory roasts of pork loin, goose, or duck, or stuffed eggplant with lamb, or french onion soup with mushroom toast. 

    This is a Pinot Noir I would wait a few years to drink. I believe this has a twenty-year drinking window, so it can use a few more years to soften. Try not to pop it before 2024! — Cara Patricia

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