Winemaking

CobdenWini_12PinotNoir

What’s with the label and who are all those people?? The incredible label design was done by Clara Meinen at One Sweet Design. She perfectly brought to life a rough idea of having friends and family on the label in a collage like style. All of the photos are of Mark’s friends, family, family dogs, and travels from past vintages abroad. Some are old, some are recent, but all help to tell the story of how Cobden Wini came to be: through good friendships, a great family, and lots of fun along the way.

PINOT NOIR

All of Cobden Wini’s wines get hands on attention from winemaker, Mark Davis. When we say hands-on we literally mean hands-on: grapes are fermented in half ton bins, which are punched down by hand two to three times daily (see below). After fermentation is complete, wine is removed off the skins (this wine is called the free run) and the skins are pressed, removing more wine trapped within (called the press wine). The press wine is combined with the free run in 228 liter Burgundian barrels, where it remains for approximately 10 months. During this time, the barrels are stirred and topped about once a month (Mark feels that not overly disturbing the aging wine is essential for it reaching its potential, so minimal opening of barrels is a must). The stirring, or batonage, helps mix solids (called lees) into the wine; adding mouthfeel as well as cleaning up the wine. After about 8 months, the wine is racked off the lees to help clarify it before final bottling. Cobden Wini uses about a third new French Oak, a third once-used French Oak, and a third neutral French Oak barrels. Cobden Wini bottles unfiltered, though filtration could always be an option in the future. Cobden Wini wines are also not fined, as fining can be somewhat nonspecific as to what it fines out of a wine and thus can bind with important aromatics leaving a wine less complex. Cleanliness is key to the winemaking and aging process and an almost insane approach to cleanliness is used in the making of Cobden Wini wines.

Mark doing some bin punchdowns. See, no kidding; hands on.

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MARSANNE/ROUSSANNE
WHITE WINE BLEND

Our first dry white wine is a blend of two different white grapes: Marsanne and Roussanne, not as commonly found in California, but common place in the Rhone region of France. From a small vineyard in Calaveras county California, we whole cluster press the fruit. After an overnight settling period, the wine is racked to barrel where it will remain for fermentation as well as aging. The wine was aged in half once used french oak and half neutral french oak barrels. Every month the lees were stirred to enhance mouthfeel. Malolactic fermentation was halted in order to preserve a fresh acidity. Our Marsanne Roussanne blend was aged for 9 months in barrel prior to bottling.

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LATE HARVEST SAUVIGNON BLANC

The Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc is the essence of what a sweet dessert wine can be. It was hand picked and then whole cluster pressed using a bladder press. The pressing was done over a 12 hour period. The final press fraction was initial kept separate but was later blended back with the first pressings. The wine was aged in one third new French Oak barrels (Taransaud) with the remainder being once used barrels. Batonage and topping was done on a monthly basis. Following a 15 month aging period, the wine was racked off the lees, and filtered using a crossflow filtration system and bottled. REMEMBER: To open, just corkscrew through the wax.

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STAGS LEAP CABERNET SAUVIGNON

In 2015, we did our first Cabernet Sauvignon. Made from fruit grown in the legendary Stags Leap district of the Napa Valley, this limited production of Cab turned out to be something special. Fermented whole berry in T-bins, this wine was punched down by hand and fermented over a 17 day period. The wine was aged in 50% new French oak barrels for 22 months. The alcohol is a modest 14.8% yet the flavors are fruit forward with hints of spice. The tannin structure is extremely round with a nice acidity that is a rarity in todays Napa Cabs. This wine will age beautifully for many years to come.