The Pinot Noirs of Cobb Wines, vintage after vintage and despite the necessary vacillations in expression that result from the vagaries of each individual growing season, always remain true to the grape variety’s essence: Textured yet not heavy, complex but not forced, and expressive of the land from which they’re crafted. Among the many standout American producers of Pinot Noir, Cobb always seems to possess the magic formula, and to craft it in a way that seems effortless, inevitable, and electrically exciting all at once.
I recently tasted three standout bottlings from the 2012 vintage, and was beyond impressed by them all. Here are my thoughts on them:
Cobb Wines Pinot Noir Diane Cobb: Coastlands Vineyard 2012, Sonoma Coast
Spicy and elegant on the nose, with cranberry and red cherry joined by subtly floral peppercorn that all turn to a palate of high-toned cranberry and tart red cherry, spice, a hint of leather, a bit of incense, purple flowers, and a finish that speaks of blueberry, unexpectedly enough, along with plenty of gun-flint minerality. Excellent concentration on a lithe frame.
Cobb Wines Emmaline Ann Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012, Sonoma Coast
Aromas of cranberry, herb and tomato vine are subtle and feminine, and joined by a hint of spice and rose petal. On the palate, this shows a remarkably supple texture with increasing concentration as it rolls toward the finish, with flavors of red cherry, cranberry, rose petal, and spice. Delicate, shimmering and feminine.
Cobb Wines Pinot Noir Rice-Spivak Vineyard 2012, Sonoma Coast
Deeply earthy aromas of forest floor, porcini dust, and savory rose petals are joined by a hint of raspberry, and turn to flavors of high-toned cherry, lilac, and mineral, all carried on a silky palate that finishes softly with red fruit and flowers.