Rising Star in Sonoma County

Today’s Story: Daniel Cohn Wine Company (Bellacosa)

Daniel Cohn started Bellacosa following the sale of his family’s famous winery, BR Cohn, in 2015. Having grown up in the Sonoma Valley, Daniel was surrounded by wine since an early age. He walked the vineyards as a young boy and played in the soil, worked in the cellars racking barrels and cleaning tanks as he grew older, and learned the wine business as it grew into one of his greatest passions. Add this all to the fact that Daniel grew up around winemakers such as Helen Turley, Merry Edwards, and Steve MacRostie and it is no surprise he ventured out to create this new endeavor with Bellacosa.

Daniel has so far experienced much success with his new label, being named one of the Top 10 Hottest Wine Brands by Wine Business in 2016. This did not come without a cost, however, as Daniel spends enormous amounts of time traveling to sell his wine. For instance, during 2016 Daniel spent 308 days traveling racking up over 200,000 air miles while visiting 250 cities across the United States. Everywhere he goes, Daniel flies coach class, brings a suitcase with three bottles of wine, feasts on Chick-fil-A and Taco Bell, and books budget hotels last minute to get both best price and constant movement. This work ethic is truly admirable, and one of my favorite stories is how Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s started selling his wine in select locations because he walked into the stores with a bottle of wine and asked over a tasting. For more on Daniel’s tireless efforts, check out this Forbes article.

Today’s Wine: 2016 Bellacosa Cabernet Sauvignon

100% Cabernet Sauvignon; 14.2% ABV

The 2016 Bellacosa is deep ruby (almost purple) in color. On the nose I get aromas of blackberry compote, blueberry, plum, strawberry rhubarb, brown sugar and baking spice, vanilla, slight smoked meet, and a hint of alcohol. Once in the mouth, this wine showcases notes of blueberry, raspberry, cranberry, light dusty earth, milk chocolate, and vanilla. One thing I’d like to note is that this wine seems to fall apart by the mid-palate, almost in such a way I had to ask myself, “that’s it?” Nonetheless, this is medium- to full-bodied with medium (+) acidity, medium (-) silky tannins, and a medium length finish with notes of red cherry and blood.

Price: $24. This is certainly a nice value and one of the better Sonoma Cabs I’ve had for price. Further, this is certainly within the “people pleasing” category for Cabernet Sauvignon so it could make a good wine to bring to Christmas dinner in a few weeks. Pair this with a bacon cheeseburger with caramelized onions on top.

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