2017 Tasting Notes
Our Flagship - Buffalo Hill Syrah
2017 Rockpile Vineyard Buffalo Hill
100% Syrah • Rockpile Vineyard • Rockpile, Sonoma County 65 cases produced Drink: 2020-2040 $150
Named for the handcarved, wooden Buffalo that overlooks the vine- yard, aged in a 100% new French oak, but amazingly the purity and intensity of the fruit in this wine overshadows it. The aromatics don’t soar from the glass; they pull you in. It’s deep and saturated in every way, from the black and red fruits to the crème de cassis, roasted earth and wild herbs. On the palate this wine wants to take you over the edge, with its full-body feel, from the first taste to the massive fin- ish. This wine is as sensual an experience that only this Syrah can be.
2017 So Serine
100% Syrah • Rockpile Vineyard • Rockpile, Sonoma County 22 cases produced Drink: 2020-2040 $150
We have been making this wine since 2007. The original bud wood (Serine which is one of the oldest selections of Syrah) was brought over from one of Jeff’s favorite vineyards in Cote Rôtie, Les Grandes Places. It has continued to produce some of the most incredible displays of the Rockpile Vineyard. Looking at the color of this dark opaque purple wine with hints of dark red on the rim, it has stupendous aromatics of cassis, roasted earth, savory tapenade, black cherry cola and just a touch of lavender and violet. On the palate this wine is compelling. Full-bodied and concentrated, but also showing pinpoint balance, elegance and in- tensity from the front palate to the mid palate to an astonishingly long finish.
2017 Domaine des Chirats
100% Syrah • Rockpile Vineyard • Rockpile, Sonoma County 442 cases produced (221 cases exported)
Drink: 2020-2040 $95
This is the fifth vintage of the project made with Yves Cuilleron, one of Jeff’s favorite winemakers in the Northern Rhône. He met Yves in 1998 at Hospice du Rhône in Paso Robles. Domaine des Chirats is translated in old French to “home of the pile of rocks”. This vintage is really show- ing finesse with a palate of elegance, depth, purity and sheer intensity.
Jeff has always felt that this vineyard brings a very Hermitage as- pect to the table, but this year there is a touch of Côte Rôtie show- ing through. A sensational deep red/purple color is followed by one of the most fragrant noses for this wine that we have made. From the savory to the black, blue and red fruits to the cassis and min- eral notes that intermingle throughout. Full-bodied, rich and concen- trated, managing to stay light on its feet, this wine fills your palate with black cherry compote, black and red currants, olive and a liq- uid mineral component that is the essence of Rockpile Vineyard.
Rockpile Vinyeard 'Haley'
100% Syrah • Rockpile, Sonoma County 172 cases produced Drink: 2020-2040 $90
Coming from two separate blocks, one which produces wines of elegance and finesse and the other of intensity and depth. Named for my youngest daughter, and as she has grown and matured, so have the blocks of the vineyard. Each are in their teenage years and both need guidance and direction. Together they provide a true harmonious, textural experience both in flavors and aromas that are fresh, vibrant, deep and always intriguing, just like my daughter Haley.
A saturated red earth colored wine that’s reminiscent of the red soils up at the 2000 ft elevation Rockpile Vineyard and a nose that’s all about a sense of place! Minerality, minerality, mineral- ity - terroir at its essence. Followed by sweet cassis, black cher- ry and iron with a feeling that this wine is tightly wound, ready to explode from the glass. This is a wine for the decanter or to drink 5-10 years from now. The palate shows incredible richness, a tight structure, and then a sweetness that will mesmerize you and open your eyes to the magic that is Rockpile Vineyard.
Syrah & Rhône Reds
2017 Zio Tony Ranch
100% Syrah • Martinelli Vineyard, Russian River Valley 247 cases produced Drink: 2020-2040 $88
This wine has an opaque purple, almost black color from the center of the wine to its rim. A sweet blackberry pie filling, black licorice, roast- ed earth notes and crème Brûlée. The palate has a fantastic entry, with a core of insanely rich fruit that becomes a black and blue fruit compote, with cassis, grilled meats and violet notes. As concentrated as this wine is, the sweet tannin backbone structure keeps the wine on a steady course.
2017 Silver Eagle Vineyard
100% Syrah • Russian River Valley
104 Cases produced Drink: 2020-2040 $88
PROFOUND is the best way to describe this deeply colored wine that comes from the coolest of sites on the estate vineyard of the Valdez family. Vibrant and fresh, smelling this wine reminds me of walking through a patch of wild herbs and brush in the South of France. Then the black/red raspberry notes intermingle with blackberry/cassis, a touch of Worcestershire and soy sauce notes and reminds me of the Northern Rhone. The use of 60% whole cluster this year brought out an exoticness to the palate. Full-bodied and rich, this wine is a multi-lay- ered experience. Sweet black fruits, grilled meats, roasted herbs and a glycerol feel to this palate makes the wine so easy to enjoy now, but trust me, it has the structure for the ages.
2017 Sweetwater Springs Vineyard Petite Sirah
100% Petite Sirah • Russian River Valley 262 cases produced Drink: 2020-2050 $60
The color of this wine reminds me of the saying: It’s always darkest just before dawn. I can tell you the moment before dawn can’t even come close to how opaque this wine is. Aromatically this wine covers the gamut from blackberry pie filling, lavender, wild herbs and even a hint of stone fruit. One could spend at least 10 minutes just looking at the color and partaking of the aromatics. This is the Full Monty from the first sip, to the end of the glass. Blackberry, black currant, salted black licorice, and air dried beef. This wine is screaming for cold winter nights and a crackling fire.
2017 El Diablo Vineyard - The Fallen Angel Grenache
100% Grenache • Russian River Valley 82 cases produced Drink: 2020-2030 $48
Due to the extreme temperatures of the 2017 vintage, we allowed the Grenache to hang for an extra amount of time, resulting in a wine that shows more of the complexity and depth that is El Diablo Grenache. Starting with the garnet red color that is vibrant and just so exciting to swirl in the glass to the over the top nose that is filled with black cherry, wild raspberry, strawberries, tarragon, thyme and just a hint of lavender. Very giving on the front and mid palate, with just enough structure to carry through to the explosive finish, the flavors are a complete reflection of the aromatics, but just a touch savory.
2017 Sweetwater SpringsVineyard 'Isabel'
100% Zinfandel • Russian River Valley 183 cases produced Drink: 2020-2032 $50
Our daughter Isabel is much more mellow and vibrant in her life, with music as a guiding light. To me, this is what zinfandel is all about. A vibrant, saturated cherry red color, with a perfumed aromas of dried cranberry/Bing cherries/wild raspberry, with wisps of salted licorice and toasted black sesame seeds. The palate is seductively ripe, round and supple, with flavors that echo its aromatics, but with the savory components as the lead that flows into a wine that showcases the in- tensity and richness that only this steep hillside vineyard can create.
2017 St. Peter’s Church Vineyard
100% Zinfandel • Alexander Valley
128 cases produced Drink: 2020-2028 $55
A deep dark garnet rim to an almost mysterious black red color. Mag- netic black and red fruits with a touch of savory Herbs de Provence on the nose that just keeps pulling you in closer to the glass, so you don’t miss one moment of the experience. The palate is so precise, elegant and pinpoint in its balance. From the lush front palate with sweet vanillin and dark chocolate ganache, to the minerality in the mid palate and blackberry bramble in the extensive long finish. this wine has a very Provencal feel, but the soul of old vine Zinfandel.
2017 Iron Hill Vineyard
100% Zinfandel • Sonoma Valley
58 cases produced Drink: 2020-2028 $55
Year in and year out this wine is the one that always mystifies us. The luxurious black / red color looks like no other Zinfandel we’ve ever had, and then one swirl and the aromas are just as mysteri- ous as its color. In a blind tasting, this wine always reminds us of what a potential blend of Cote Rôtie and Syrah from Chateauneuf du Pape would be if they were blended together. It showcases black cherry, well-aged butcher shop meats, dark chocolate, cracked pep- per, Australian black licorice and a touch of lavender. This wine is such a reflection of the 55 degree amphitheater designed vineyard that was planted in solid volcanic rock. To say its lush or unctuous on the palate just doesn’t do it justice. Complete from aromatics to its pure decadent finish!
Jeff Cohn Cellars was started with the help of Jeff’s mother, Iris. Every wine we produce has an iris on the label as a tribute to her. Jeff mar- ries his passion of classic French style winemaking with his dediction to a Californian sense of innova- tion to craft elegant wines that showcase terroir.
2017 Rinaldi Vineyard
100% Zinfandel • Fiddletown, Amador County 76 cases produced Drink: 2020-2030 $55
A rich ruby/black cherry color that exhibits aromas of wild raspberry, wild strawberries, white and black pepper and underbrush (bram- ble). An almost over the top palate that is a multi-layered experi- ence of black raspberry / Kirsch that has an expansive mid-palate which shows both elegance and intensity with a generous finish.
2017 Rossi Ranch Vineyard
100% Zinfandel • Sonoma Valley
73 Cases produced Drink: 2020-2028 $55
Color that reminds me of an old time noir movie starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall (Dark Passage). Unquestionably a wine of enormous depth and richness. Blackberry/black cherry and a rasp- berry coulis, soars from the glass, with just a touch of mineral that keeps the wine in check. To use the word massive maybe over doing it a touch, but this wine is of enormous proportions. A combination of black and red fruits with savory air dried meat, a hint of dried tar- ragon and a sweet concentrated palate that takes your senses for a ride. This wine just leaves me breathless and unable to conjure up more words to describe.
2017 Iris Sparkling Rosé
60% Grenache • 20% Syrah • 20% Mourvèdre • California 263 cases produced Drink: 2020-2029 $60
Our second bottling of Méthode Champenoise is 60% Grenache from Rossi Ranch, 20% Syrah from Rockpile Vineyard and 20% Mourvèdre from Rossi Ranch. While our last vintage rested on lees in bottle for 10 months, this vintage we extended it to 23 months . The goal was to add bring additional richness, creaminess and length to the wine, while keeping it fresh and vibrant. As before the model for this wine comes from Tavel region of the Southern Rhône, where the wines have a little more color and in my mind texture, but with a sparkling twist! Aromat- ically this wine is a combination of wild strawberries, stone fruits, flaky croissant and hint of rainier cherry. The palate is light and refreshing with persistent flavors of strawberry, cherry and subtle creaminess that carries the wine to a long finish. The perfect companion to any occasion!
Rhône - Red Blends
2017 Pure Yum
67% Syrah • 33% Grenache • Sonoma County 146 cases produced Drink: 2020-2030 $45
A dark plummy color, with aromatics that jump from the glass. A com- bination of black cherry, black raspberry, freshly cracked white pepper and savory notes. This wine has a generous mouthfeel that caresses the complete palate. To say this wine is seductive is an understate- ment. Sweet black and red fruits, both uber concentrated, yet laser focused, keep this wine in perfect balance. It’s Pure Yum!
2017 Smoke & Mirrors
60% Zinfandel • 28% Syrah • 6% Petite Sirah • 6% Grenache • California 346 cases produced Drink: 2020-2028 $30
A vibrant garnet/purple color, this project continues to allow me to create a wine from all the vineyards we work with and to make some magic (Smoke & Mirrors). Black cherry, raspberry and wild strawberry with a touch of anise and chocolate covered maraschino cherries. The palate is full and sweet with flavors that echo the aromas. This wine reminds me of a Côte du Rhone from the South of France.
2017 2 Guys 2 Barrels Stagecoach Vioginer - Soldout
100% Viognier • Stagecoach Vineyard, Napa Valley 68 cases produced Drink: 2019-2025 $55
Once again our collaboration with Yves Gangloff and the Stagecoach Vineyard has produced a wine of incredible depth and complexity. Aromatically this vintage has produced a wine that leans towards a floral minerality with dried peaches, apricots, honey suck- le and orange marmalade. The palate is almost over the top in richness and fruit, but the mineral backbone of the wine holds it together. Peaches, apricots, pears and pineapple pro- vide for a most exotic experience and leave you wanting for more.
2017 The First Date - Soldout
60% Grenache Blanc / 40% Roussanne
Camp 4 Vineyard, Santa Ynez • Stagecoach Vineyard, Napa Valley 225 cases produced Drink: 2019-2025 $40
We use a concrete egg shaped tank to ferment and age the Gren- ache Blanc portion of this blend. The premise is that with the egg shape and the earth’s gravitation rotation it creates a vortex inside the egg that stirs the lees on a constant basis as it ages. We feel it keeps the fruit bright, adds a creaminess to the wine, and it brings out the minerality of the wine. This wine is golden in color and deep in the nose for sure. Exotic and flamboyant. Lemon / lime with a gin- ger, pineapple, mango, honey, lanoline, and beeswax. The flavors of this absolutely full-bodied white go from roasted nuts, allspice, gin- ger cookies to peaches, apricots and freshly cut Honeycrisp apples.