COBB Wines

Owner(s) David Cobb, Diane Cobb, Stephen Cobb
Web site www.cobbwines.com
 
Link to this site
COBB Wines

A Pinot Noir specialist producing wines sourced from Sonoma County vineyards in the North Coast. Established in 2001 by Ross and Stephen Cobb and their parents David and Diane. David Cobb, a marine biologist and environmental scientist, and his wife Dianne, planted a vineyard originally in the backyard of his Mill Valley home and took viticulture classes at night at Santa Rosa Junior College. He made wine at home as a hobby. Eventually David sold his Mill Valley home and moved to Occidental and planted 5 acres of Pinot Noir on a hill overlooking Bodega Bay in 1989. The first five vintages were purchased by Williams-Selyem. Meanwhile, son Ross was attending University of California at Santa Cruz and began to take an interest in wine.

After graduation, Ross worked for Whole Foods and a few days on and off at Williams-Selyem during harvest. He subsequently spent four years at Ferrari Carano, then Bonny Doon Vineyard when he got a call from Burt Williams who needed a lab tech for his winery. Apprenticing under winemaker Bob Cabral, he developed his Pinot Noir love affair working as an assistant enologist and viticulturist. In 2000, he traveled to Burgundy and returned to a job working at Flowers Winery. He became the winemaker from 2004 to 2008.

In 2006, he had a breakthrough. A small vineyard, Emmaline Ann, was producing very low yields and was picked at a relatively low Brix. The wine turned out to be 12.8% alcohol and a pH of 3.3 and was the first wine in his career where he felt he was achieving something unique for New World Pinot Noir. In 2008 he left Flowers, started his own label, Cobb Wines, and became the winemaker for David Hirsch. He assisted his farther in the farming of the 15-acre Coastlands Vineyard and managed all of other the vineyards from which the Cobb Wines winery sourced grapes.

Ross picks at modest Brix levels, employs whole clusters, and ferments entirely with native yeasts for primary fermentation. The wines are unfiltered.

Six distinct Pinot Noirs are produced: Coastlands Vineyard and Coastlands Vineyard: Diane Cobb (Sonoma Coast), Rice-Spivak Vineyard (Sebastopol, Sonoma Coast), Joy Road Vineyard (near Coastlands Vineyard), Jack Hill Vineyard (Sonoma Coast), and Emmaline Vineyard (western margin of Sebastopol, Sonoma Coast).

The wines are sold primarily through a mailing list and are available online. Annual production is about 1,000 cases of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Reviewed Wines

2011 Cobb Rice-Spivak Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.9% alc., 192 cases, $70. From a 6-acre vineyard near Sebastopol. Dijon clones and a Swan selection are planted in Goldridge sandy loam laced with volcanic ash on a northeastern-facing slope. · Light garnet color in the glass. Enticing aromas of red cherries, mocha, spice and toast. An ephemeral, feminine wine with demure flavors of red cherry, strawberry, raspberry, red licorice and subtle oak. Bright and refreshing with a surprisingly robust and satisfying finish. Score: 90. Reviewed July 19, 2014 ARTICLE »

2011 Cobb Emmaline Ann Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.8% alc., 96 cases, $75. This 3- acre vineyard is near the town of Occidental. Dijon clones are planted in Goldridge soil on a southfacing slope. · Light garnet color in the glass. A savory nose featuring aromas of cherry, herbs, pine tree and forest floor. Very light dark red cherry flavor with a modest oak touch. Supple tannins and bright acidity, but very lean on the attack and finish. Seems to be from vines that struggled to ripen in this vintage. Score: 87. Reviewed July 19, 2014 ARTICLE »

2011 Cobb Coastlands Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 170 cases, $80. Sourced from a 14-acre vineyard near the town of Occidental containing a variety of selections, several rootstocks and a complex soil mix. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. I love the nose that is redolent of fresh cherries and baking spices. The light to mid weight red cherry and berry core is accented by savory herbs. A slight green thread runs through the background. Has a little more stuffing than the Rice-Spivak and a little more intensity on the tart, red cherry finish. Score: 91. Reviewed July 19, 2014 ARTICLE »

2009 COBB Coastlands Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 295 cases, pH 3.38, $70. A variety of Pinot Noir selections from this 15-acre vineyard planted in 1989. Located 4 miles inland from the Coast, the clones planted include Pommard, Martini, Wädenswil and Mt. Eden. Aged 20 months in 35% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Pungent and shy initially, opening over time to reveal more pleasing aromas of plum reduction sauce. Modest intensity with flavors of dark plum and currant, accented with earthy, oaky notes in the background. Not particular appealing the first day but much better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle displaying more expressive aromas and flavors, veering more to the redder fruit spectrum. Definitely a nervy, higher acid style. Good. Reviewed October 2, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 COBB Coastlands Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 295 cases, $70 ($150 magnum). This 15-acre vineyard was planted in 1989 by Ross’s father, David, and his mother, Diane, and is one of the oldest vineyards on the extreme Sonoma Coast. Elevation ranges from 900 to 1,200 feet and sits on a ridge overlooking the Pacific Ocean four miles to the West. Periods of spring rain or heavy fog can lead to very low yields, and in some years is virtually nonexistent. Yield in 2009 was less than 1 ton per acre. Aged 20 months in 35% new French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Highly aromatic, offering scents of dark red cherries and berries, bark, root beer and clove. Tasty core of dark red cherries with subtle accents of animale, tobacco and tar. Modest in weight with firm, dry tannins, and finishing with good power and a lively cut of acidity. Showing much better than previously reviewed six months ago. Very good. Reviewed May 5, 2013 ARTICLE »

2009 COBB Emmaline Ann Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 260 cases, $70. This 3-acre vineyard is located near Occidental on a south-facing slope a few miles inland from Coastlands Vineyard. Dijon clones 115 and 777 are planted in Goldridge sandy loam. At 800 feet, this site is influenced by the Pacific Ocean. More fog and shade than other vineyards Cobb works with giving at a particularly delicate expression of Pinot Noir. Yields are commonly less than 2 tons per acre. Aged 20 months in 30% new French oak barrels. · Light reddish color in the glass. Lovely aromas of fresh cherries, red berries and rose petals with a touch of spice and oak. Highly enjoyable flavors of dark red cherries and berries with a pleasing citrus riff on the cherry-driven, very long finish. Seductively elegant with supple tannins. True to the Cobb style with lighter color, lower alcohol, redder fruits and bright, focused acidity. Reviewed October 2, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 COBB Emmaline Ann Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 260 cases, $70 ($150 magnum). A 3-acre hillside vineyard near Occidental. Two Dijon clones planted in Goldridge sandy loam soil. Exposed to the most shade and fog of any of the vineyards Ross works with. Aged 20 months in 30% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Hi-tone aromas of dark red cherries and berries permeate the air. Ambrosial flavors of dark red cherries, pomegranates, and spice. The most polished wine in the lineup with a silky smooth mouth feel. Finishes with a bold kiss of cherries and juicy acidity. One of the best one night stands you’ll ever have. Reviewed May 5, 2013 ARTICLE »

2009 COBB Jack Hill Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 140 cases, $70 ($150 magnum). A 2-acre vineyard situated on a steep slope overlooking the Freestone Valley near Occidental. Dijon 115, 667 and 828 planted in Goldridge soils. Aged 20 months in 35% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Darker red and black cherry and berry aromas are featured with hints of forest floor, spice, cigar box, and oak vanillin. Delicious mid weight flavors of cherries, plums and elderberries with an outrageously long and satisfying finish. Beautifully balanced tannins and acidity. Will make any dinner special. Reviewed May 5, 2013 ARTICLE »

2009 COBB Rice-Spivak Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., pH 3.29, 295 cases, $70 ($150 magnum). About six miles inland from the Pacific Ocean near Sebastopol, this vineyard is planted to Dijon clones and Swan selection in Goldridge sandy loam soils with volcanic ash. 25% whole cluster. Aged 20 months in 35% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Lovely perfume evolves over time in the glass, revealing aromas of darker cherries and berries, forest floor, praline and subtle oak. Intensely fruity carrying royally through the mid palate and finish, showing the most body of the wines tasted here. Attractive finesse, with mild tannins, and a lively citrus-infused ending. Very good (+). Reviewed May 5, 2013 ARTICLE »

2009 COBB Diane Cobb: Coastlands Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 120 cases, $80. A one-half-acre nursery was planted by Diane Cobb with over twenty varieties of Pinot Noir to determine which were best for the Coastlands site. The plantings were later doubled with what she believed was the best in the nursery. This wine is from 1.5 acres as a memorial to Diane Cobb who passed away in 2006. Aged 20 months in 38% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Enticing scents of dark Queen Anne cherries, sawdust and sandalwood. The dark red cherry core is fresh and vivid, held in check by taut tannins, and finishing strong and focused with a hint of citrus. Seamless with admirable finesse, and a delight to drink. Very good. Reviewed October 2, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 COBB Joy Road Vineyard Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

13.6% alc., 95 cases, $80. Dijon clone. · Golden straw color in the glass. Welcoming aromas of white peaches, honey, banana and pastry cream. Delicious flavors of baked pear, toasted almonds, and lemon curd, finishing with noticeable length. Soft and smooth with bright but well integrated acidity. A delight. Very good. Reviewed October 2, 2012 ARTICLE »

2008 COBB Coastlands Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 260 cases, $68. Aged 17 months in 35% new French oak barrels. · Cherries and red plums are featured on the nose with a hint of dark chocolate. A red fruit theme is offered in a style of welcoming finesse with a pleasing citrusy acid lift bringing the cherry and raspberry flavors to life. A little grilled mushroom, smoky oak and sauvage adds to the appeal. The tannins, which are typically firm in wines from this vineyard, are well corralled, but will soften further with more time in the bottle. Very good. Reviewed April 11, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 COBB Emmaline Ann Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.1% alc., 360 cases, $68. From 3-acre vineyard near Occidental planted to Dijon clones in Goldridge sandy loam. · Very enticing aromas of dusty dark red spiced Pinot fruits with faint notes of oak and cinnamon. Luscious and silky body of red plum and dark red berry fruits make an impression on the mid palate and linger with a vengeance on the generous finish. Beautifully balanced with racy acidity and supple tannins, this wine offers a little more richness than others in the lineup, but displays the finesse that Cobb wines are known for. A keeper. Reviewed April 11, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 COBB Jack Hill Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 240 cases, $68. From a 2-acre hillside vineyard near Occidental a few miles from Coastlands and Emmaline Ann vineyards. Dijon clones 115, 667 and 828 planted in Goldridge sandy loam. Hand-tended by the couple living on the property. Aged 17 months in 35% new French oak. · Demure aromas of cherry and berry fruits nicely spiced and accented by underbrush. Absolutely delicious melange of fresh cherries and berries with complimentary hints of spice, oak and minerality. Juicy, with impressive persistence on the finish. A lighter bodied wine with gossamer tannins that has a very appealing and seductive gentleness. An All-American. Reviewed April 11, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 COBB Joy Road Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 280 cases, $68. From a 2-acre vineyard near the Coastlands Vineyard. Closespaced planting of a mix of Pinot Noir clones in sandy loam soils. Aged 17 months in 35% new French oak. · A remarkably intense cherry aroma develops over time in the glass. Scents of toasted oak and candied apple contribute interest. A charmer that unfolds in stages, revealing vibrant black cherry and ripe strawberry flavors with undertones of sandalwood and vanilla. Soft and silky and seductive. Very good. Reviewed April 11, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 COBB Rice-Spivak Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 450 cases, $68. A 6-acre vineyard near Sebastopol planted in Goldridge sandy loam laced with volcanic ash. Dijon clones and Swan selection. Aged 17 months in 35% new French oak barrels. · Intensely aromatic showing vivid aromas of black cherries and black raspberries with hints of earth and oak. A little restrained upon opening, later revealing a core of racy dark red and black fruits with a refreshing lift of citrus peel on the finish. Showing a subtle caramel note from the oak which should integrate over time. Elegant and refined, with supple tannins. Very good. Reviewed April 11, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 COBB Coastlands Vineyard Diane Cobb Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., 160 cases, $78. · This is a very curious wine. When tasted upon opening, it had a disagreeable smoky, tarry tone to the aromas and flavors. When re-tasted 24 hours later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, it had undergone a remarkable transformation from an ugly duckling to a monarch. My comments are from the next day. Very appealing spicy black cherry aromas. Generous cherry and plum flavors with a velvety mouth feel and a kicking acidity on the finish. A subtle undertone of smoke and tar detracts only slightly from this wine, and may represent oak intrusion which will integrate with time. Still, I couldn’t overlook the distraction. Good. Reviewed April 11, 2011 ARTICLE »

2007 COBB Coastlands Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 240 cases, $68. This 14.5- acre vineyard is owned and farmed by the Cobb family and contains some of the oldest Pinot Noir vines on the Sonoma Coast. A very cool site near Occidental, this is one of the last vineyards to ripen on the Sonoma Coast each season. Several clones including Pommard, Martini, Wädenswil and Mt. Eden planted on various rootstocks. Yorkville and Kneeland loamy soils. · More intense color than other wines in this lineup. Aromas of plum sauce, soy, poki, dank cellar and sandalwood. Dancing mix of purple fruits, earth and oak flavors carry through to a remarkably persistent finish. Intensely fruity and seemingly a little closed at this time. Keep this one in the cellar a few years. Reviewed February 15, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 COBB Joy Road Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 240 cases, $68. A 2.5-acre vineyard owned by winemaker Terry Adams located a short distance from Coastlands Vineyard on a 1,300-foot ridge top near Occidental. Planted in sandy loam to four different varieties of Pinot Noir. · The nose is both savory and floral along with earthy cherry and berry fruits that are quite vivid. Delicious redder-toned fruits with supportive oak pulled into line with fine acidity. A middle weight wine that is soft and sensual in the mouth departing with a taunting, teasing and lingering aroma of fresh cherries. Reviewed February 15, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 COBB Rice-Spivak Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., 360 cases, $68. · Like the 2006 version of this wine, this is a remarkable drink. Very expressive fruity nose emphasizing berry tart, the slightest oak and a hint of spice. Flavors of redder-toned berry fruits fan out softly on the palate, saturating every corner of the mouth and fading lithely in a lingering finish with a pleasing grip of acidity. Seamless in every way, urging you to reach for another sip. A little richer tasting than the 2006 vintage even at a lower alcohol. This vineyard is one fine piece of dirt. Reviewed February 15, 2010 ARTICLE »

2006 COBB Coastlands Vineyard Diane Cobb Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 145 cases, $72. A 1.5-acre block in the Coastlands Vineyard planted to a single Pinot Noir variety chosen by Diane Cobb through her work with a nursery block at Coastlands that contained over 20 relatively unknown Pinot Noir varieties. This wine commemorates Diane’s life at Coastlands from its founding in 1989 until her death in 2006. · Subdued aromas upon opening, but becomes quite expressive over time in the glass. Pleasing perfume of fresh berry jam, Morrocan spices and a little barnyard. Intense black cherry and strawberry flavors like bombs bursting in the mouth. Earth and hard red candy accents add interest. Juicy and charming with a finish that would make Hollywood proud. Reviewed February 15, 2010 ARTICLE »

2006 COBB Emmaline Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.8% alc., 166 cases, $72. This 3-acre vineyard is at the western margin of Sebastopol near Occidental and receives more shade and fog than the other Cobb vineyards. The Goldridge sandy loam soils are planted to Dijon 115 and 777. · Pleasing scent of dark stone fruits nicely spiced. An array of brambly fruits show up in the mouth including ripe strawberries, blackberries and plums. Smooth and silky with bright acidity and fine, ripe tannins create no rough edges. Truly unique from the other Cobb bottlings. Reviewed February 15, 2010 ARTICLE »

2006 COBB Rice-Spivak Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 495 cases, $72. 6-acre vineyardowned by Russell Rice and his wife, Dr. Helen Spivak. Goldridge sandy loam with ash. Dijon and Swan clone. · Stunning aromas of bright and pure cherries and berries with a hint of forest floor. Only Pinot Noir can offer a nose like this. Luscious attack of red and black cherries and berries on the mid-palate with an appealing accent of earthy loam and smoke lifted with balancing acidity (dare I say minerality), and caressed by fine-grain tannins. Elegant and refined all the way through to the vibrant and pleasing finish. This is a great wine that really shows off the frilly, sexy side of Pinot Noir. Reviewed February 15, 2010 ARTICLE »