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2011 Cowan Cellars, Isa White Wine
100% sauvignon blanc at 12.5% alcohol; it was de-stemmed and fermented to dry on its skins at ambient temperature in 6-7 year old French oak barrels.
Burnished amber color tending toward rose gold, brilliant; a unique nose with tangerine peel, fresh basil, minerals, light honey, and an iron element that is hard to describe; much the same in the mouth with real texture, bright acids, intensity and a long, cleansing finish. At first sip, I get the fruit flavors but as the wine passes over my tongue, it becomes more savory. Not quite an “orange” wine in the traditional sense (no oxidation here), but a wine that will pair well with almost anything that isn’t red meat. Should drink well on release and gain color, depth and complexity over a decade. This wine should never be over-chilled; cellar temperature or warmer for service.
290 cases produced
2012 Cowan Cellars, Ribolla Gialla
Russian River Valley
100% ribolla gialla at 11.7% alcohol; Gently de-stemmed & hand sorted, skin fermented with native yeasts until dry, malolactic fermentation was stopped to retain acidity. Aged 6-7 year old French oak barrels
Light gold color, brilliant; aromas of apricot, light honey, persimmon, nutmeg and a floral note might give the impression of a sweet wine but the palate is dry; the flavors echo the nose, concentrated texture, lively acids and grippy tannins; good length but needs a year in bottle to become integrated. Should be cellared for at least a year and should drink well for another decade. This wine should never be over-chilled; cellar temperature or warmer for service.
112 cases produced
2012 Cowan Cellars, Rosé of Pinot Noir
100% Pinot Noir at 13.9% alcohol; Part of the juice was fermented in open bins and part in 8 year old French oak; then combined and stored in tank where it went through malolactic fermentation and remained until bottling 6 months later; unfiltered and unfined. This is saignée from several pretigious vineyards of Pinot Noir in the Sonoma Coast area of Sonoma County.
We’ve become fascinated with rosé; that shimmering pale wine that looks like spring and, when bone dry and nicely chilled, quenches the thirst. What could be better?
Clear but not brilliant, pale salmon color aromas of strawberry, spice and white pepper; bright flavors that echo the nose; laser-like acidity that holds the flavors into the after-taste and works very well with food. Bone dry.
140 cases produced
2012 Cowan Cellars, Sauvignon Blanc
Big Valley, Lake County
100% sauvignon blanc at 12.7% alcohol; Whole-clusters kept at 50 degrees for 48 hours, then pressed into barrel to ferment. Underwent malolactic fermentation and aged in 6-8 year old French oak for 6 months. Bottled unfiltered and unfined.
250 cases produced
Bright Straw in color; with an effusive nose of grapefruit, mineral and floral notes leading to similar flavors in the mouth. But there is more texture here than with most sauvignon blanc, considerable concentration and a salty minerality. Bright acidity carries the flavors through to a long and juicy finish.
2010 Cowan Cellars, Pinot Noir
100% pinot noir at 13.9% alcohol; the vineyard where these grapes grew is about three miles from the Pacific; it was de-stemmed and fermented below 80 degrees F and only pump-overs were performed (no punch downs) it spent 10 months in 2-3 year old barrels.
250 cases produced
Translucent and brilliant; dominated by red fruit scents, this wine is silky and feathery across the palate, with intense cherry flavors augmented by earth and truffle notes; a medium length, refreshing finish. This reminds of Chambolle when it is young and the weightless nature of the wine gives it a feminine delivery. For me, the kind of wine to have with lighter fare, and even some seafood; for the vegetarian cuisine we often have for dinner at my house, perfect. Should be fresh and lively at release and gain depth and complexity over a decade in the cellar.
2011 Cowan Cellars, Syrah
Moaveni Vineyard, Bennett Valley
100% Syrah, Alban 1 clone at 13.6 % alcohol; de-stemmed and fermented to dry at ambient temperature, it spent 20 months in 6-7 year old French oak.
Appears purple/black and opaque; scents of blackberry, pepper, fresh meat, ash and iodine are evident; smooth in the mouth with a mid-weight delivery, quite spicy – perhaps a hint of red chilies, intense and concentrated; very long, earthy finish. Will benefit from several years in the cellar but can be drunk now with flavorful foods. Will easily last and develop for 15 years or more with proper storage.
51 cases produced