I first discovered B.R. Cohn Winery while still living in Washington. After proposing, my fiancée Katie and I knew we wanted to get married at a winery in Sonoma. Living so far away we were forced to make a decision by pictures that family and friends sent to us. The beauty of B.R. Cohn’s property and the ability to get up close and personal with the grape vines immediately sold us and we were married here in June 2009. Having relocated back to the area, it didn’t take us long to revisit this wonderful place and the charming town of Glen Ellen, CA.
Upon entering the tasting room you notice a couple things pretty quickly. First, the tasting room staff seems to be having fun, talking, and laughing with each other and whatever tasters are present. The second thing you notice is the art pieces throughout the room seem to have a theme...rock-n-roll. That is because in addition to founding and running the winery, Bruce Cohn also serves as the manager for classic rock artists, The Doobie Brothers. This rare blend of wine and classic rock creates a casual atmosphere to enjoy consistently great wine.
Situated on the Olive Hill Estate grounds, named for the groves of Picholine olive trees, B.R. Cohn focuses much of its estate on growing Cabernet Sauvignon with smaller patches of Petite Sirah, Pinot Noir, Malbec, Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. The climate on the Olive Hill Estate along with the natural hot springs underneath creates grapes with intense flavors and unique characteristics. On our most recent trip to B.R. Cohn, Katie and I tasted two lesser known blends, the 2007 Sonoma Valley SyrCab and the 2007 Sonoma Valley SyrZin.
Now you all are smart people and I am sure you can guess which two varietals make up each of these wines but the taste is something you have to experience. With 77% Syrah and 23% Cabernet the SyrCab has an intense nose of cherry and plum fruit. Upon first taste this wine is smooth, much like you would expect from Syrah. However, the Cabernet sneaks up on you at the end and leaves your mouth very full, enjoying this wine long after it is gone.
A new venture, the SyrZin is a 50/50 blend from three different Syrah vineyards and a low-yield Zinfandel vineyard. I went into this wine really not knowing what to expect. Unlike the SyrCab, the Syrah takes a backseat and allows the spiciness and the bite of the Zinfandel to catch you off guard first before it comes in and mellows the intensity. The staff recommended trying this wine with any grilled meat or a spicy Italian dish.
B.R. Cohn provides a safe environment to explore your own tastes as well as enjoy some of the risks the winemaker takes to produce unique profiles. My next posts will be from an upcoming visit with TOWB’s very own Josh Gana down in California wine country.