The final two wines of tasting from Jeff Cohn Cellars show the two thrusts in his approach to wines. As stated, “single vineyard Zinfandel and Rhone-centric wines that walk a tightrope, balancing the pure expression of California fruit with the Rhone-influenced winemaking of vintner Jeff Cohn” the last two wines that I had at Fine Wine Source exemplified this concept. A single vineyard wine and a California blend and both were Zinfandel at their soul. I should also mention that Jeff Cohn has a soul and he has found a way to praise his Mother, who believed in him and helped him financially to attain his dream as he has says “the Iris on the label is a constant reminder that my mother, Iris, is celebrated and recognized in every wine we make.”
The Jeff Cohn Cellars Orcio Zinfandel Cassata Vineyard 2015 shows his single vineyard passion with a wine made from Sonoma County. The wine is seventy-five percent Zinfandel and the balance is Petite Sirah and this wine while the winemaker feels that it has a slight Rhone feel with a side trip to Italy, because this wine has been aged for ten months in Italian terra-cotta amphorae. Here was a wine that delivered what I thought was a very subtle and interesting Zinfandel with rounded edges and some different spices that I couldn’t totally identify and I attribute it to the amphorae. The wine had a nice long finish and there were only eighty-five cases made of this wine, so it may prove to be a bit more elusive in a search.
The last wine was the Jeff Cohn Cellars Dealmaker 2016 and here was a wine that had fruit from Sonoma and Amador Counties and beyond, just a big California Zinfandel that actually was blended with twenty percent Petite Sirah and came with a screw-cap. This wine offered black cherries and black pepper and I wrote “good, all the way around.” It was the most affordable wine of the group and that was its mission. It is a dealmaker, because everybody will leave the table happy with the outcome. I have to admit that it was just a fun and educational way to spend an afternoon. The best thing is that none of the wines were that expensive, especially considering the passion and the craftmanship involved, and this from a guy that used to shun all Zinfandels, what I probably missed in the last fifty years.
Our wine rep brought those by the shop this past week. I admit, they were rather well made, easy to like wines. don’t know if we’ll get any, but agree with your assessment.
Marshall, that is what makes horse races and while there are always new horses to watch and admire, we must also watch and admire other wines as well. Enjoy my friend, and I shall have to get out there to see you. – John