Source: Tasting Panel Magazine, August 2016 // Author: Meredith May
Before Dan Cohn had the opportunity to take his first of many SKUs—the 2014 Bellacosa North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon—to the streets (in 41 states and counting), he would fall back on what he learned from day one. Dan grew up in Sonoma Valley, the epicenter of all things food and wine. He learned the wine business from the inside out at an early age from his father, who was also entrenched in managing a famous rock band from the 1970s. Walking the vineyards, hands in the soil, working in the cellar, racking barrels and cleaning tanks, he was raised around some of the early California wine industry stars such as Helen Turley, Merry Edwards and Steve MacRostie, to name a few.
Following the sale of his family’s iconic winery, B. R. Cohn, in 2015, he stepped out on his own. “I took a risk, but I wanted to start my own wine company,” Cohn tells The Tasting Panel. Creating the Daniel Cohn Wine Company, his creative juices flowed before the grape juice was in the bottle, spending four months on the road in a different city every day, building the excitement around his soon-to-be-released Cabernet Sauvignon: Bellacosa.
For his first wine—a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot and 3% Cab Franc—Cohn sourced from his relationships, going to the best vineyards throughout Sonoma, Napa, Oakville and Coombsville. The wine’s proprietary name, Bellacosa, means “It’s a beautiful thing.” Cohn, a positive thinker and an energetic doer, has already proved worthy in his sales efforts, with a 90 percent on-premise customer base across the U.S. “Wine is that subtle force that brings people together” is his mantra. His next wine, planned for holiday release, is a single-vineyard Oakville Cab.
It sure was the force that brought him together with us for a recent tasting. This $25 (suggested retail) red drinks like a wine three times the price.
Daniel Cohn 2014 Bellacosa Cabernet Sauvignon, North Coast ($25) Deep, earthy chocolate notes invigorate the palate. Raspberry painted on blueberry painted on blackberry makes for layers of sumptuous fruit, with a juiciness that goes to the max. The acidity is just right and pinpoints the pleasure principle for pairing with duck, grilled meats and cheese. 94