With the 4th of July around the corner we here at VINE-YL felt that a distinctly American-themed post was in order. So I put aside my normally eurocentric wine tendencies and chose what some could say is the most American wine ever. It's a lovely little California red that should pair well with all those burgers and hot dogs being grilled up this Saturday. The B.R. Cohn Roadster Red is a Zinfandel, a wine that is only produced in America (ignoring for now the Zinfandel/Primitivo controversy.) It also may be the most beloved wine variety in the U.S. with big, bold Zins being a favorite of many and softly sweet white Zinfandels being the favorite of many others.
B.R. Cohn is located in Glen Ellen in Sonoma and may be the coolest winery I have had the pleasure of visiting there (besides Lance's garage.) Derek and I visited with some English friends last Fall and we were all very pleasantly surprised. Their beautiful grounds are dotted with exquisitely restored antique cars. When we entered the tasting room, we were blown away. “Why are there old black and white photos of long haired musicians covering the walls?” we asked. We were quickly told that they were there because Bruce Cohn, the founder of B.R. Cohn winery, used to be the manager of The Doobie Brothers! I know, I know... So very cool. He even throws benefit concerts every summer on his estate for different charities! To top it all off, the wine is good and affordable.
B.R. Cohn has several different tiers of wine, with the B.R. Cohn label being the higher end. They do a series of wines featuring antique cars on the label, including the Roadster Red. And of course they make the “Doobie Red” with labels featuring different Doobie Brothers album covers. Though they produce several labels, they don't make a lot of each, making them a relatively small-production winery. They only make 500 cases of this non-vintage Zinfandel which sells for around $15. The nose on the Roadster Red is all gobs of juicy red fruit and blackberries. The palate is silky with sweet, jammy fruit, but it's not heavy like some Zins. It has surprising balance and a touch of acidity which makes it a great food wine. The perfect wine for a 4th of July BBQ and a great example of the wonderful things that can come out of America.