2009 Cobb Wines, Pinot Noir, Coastlands Vineyard, Sonoma Coast.
Cobb Wines, founded in 2001, by winemaker Ross Cobb, is one of the state’s most respected Pinot Noir specialists, focuses on cool climate vineyard sites and traditional Burgundian practices in the cellar. Ross Cobb’s signature wine from his family’s Coastlands Vineyard which his dad David Cobb planted in the western Sonoma Coast back n 1989, and contains some of the oldest Pinot Noir vines on the Sonoma Coast. Coastlands, which is regarded as a top Cru in this region along with the likes of Hirsch and a few others, became famous for supplying grapes to the legendary Williams Selyem, who made many vintages of single vineyard wine from here. One of the coldest Pinot Noir vineyards in California, and as the winery notes, one of the last to ripen each season, this wind-swept 14.5-acre vineyard is located at an elevation of 900 to 1,200 feet, and sits on a ridge that overlooks the Pacific Ocean only about four miles to the west. The southwest-facing vines are set on sandy loamy soils (Yorkville and Kneeland types), and feature several different varieties of Pinot Noir including Pommard, Martini, Wadenswil, and Mt. Eden heritage clones. Ross Cobb, who holds a degree in biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, has worked harvests in Burgundy and been the lap manager as well as an enologist for Randall Grahm at Bonny Doon Vineyard, before more serious winemaker gigs at Flowers and Hirsch, as well as having worked with Bert Williams and Bob Cabral at Williams Selyem and Ferrari-Carano Vineyards, as well as most recently crafting some thrilling wines at Reeve.
At ten years old, the Cobb Coastlands Pinot is proving to be a Grand Cru class wine with an amazing concentration of fruit, complexity/depth of flavors and textural pleasure, it was a thrill to re-visit this wine recently as I had had it only once upon release and tasted blind I thought it was a Calera Jensen, which is high praise as it is or has been one of the greatest Pinots in California, which this one easily matched up to. The 2009 vintage for Cobb was certainly more opulent in style than most years with an extra degree or so of warm and ripe fruit, while still allowing for his style to shine through with partial whole cluster and refined low alcohol, with the 2009 finishing at 13%, he also prefers longer elevage, with this one getting a full 20 months in 35% new French oak. Ross notes, while 2009 was a heart breaker in terms of crop size (less than 1 ton per acre at Coastlands), the fruit was spectacular, and I agree, even more now with age as this wine has found a near perfect place and drinking outrageously good. The nose is very seductive with potpourri, spice and a delicate earthy red fruit profile before a silky palate of black cherry, brambleberry, racy plum and strawberry fruits along with a hint of forest floor, minty herb, rose hip tea, a hint of smoke sweet toastiness with a touch of mineral. The flavors flow seamlessly in the mouth and everything is on point, this is a stellar effort that is still vibrant and with vivid detailing, making it a wine to search the secondary market for with excited vigor. There is so much to enjoy here, and it still has miles to go yet, even as a long time fan of Cobb, this one blew me away!
($70 Est.) 96 Points, grapelive
*In 2013 I reviewed Cobb’s special 2009 Diane Cobb: Coastlands Vineyard bottling, see that review by Clicking Here