Each year in February, the Napa Valley Vintners holds a barrel auction just for the wine trade. Called “Premiere”, the auction features unique lots of wine (usually 5 cases each) that the participating wineries create for the event. Restaurants and wine shops from all over the world come to bid on these wines, and then offer them to their customers.
Several years ago COHO created a wine for Premiere that I called “Combination of the Two”. Inspired by the song of the same name (by Big Brother and the Holding Company), the wine blended for the first time grapes from our two top single vineyard wines, SummitVine Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon and Michael Black Vineyard Merlot. The wine was well received, and the 5 cases sold for $18,000.
As the 2012 vintage was COHO’s Tenth Anniversary I decided to create a similar cuvee to celebrate the occasion. I am very pleased to offer you this delicious wine that I’ve named C2 (for Combination of the Two). This will be the only time that COHO will make this wine as a commercial offering. The composition is 54% Michael Black Vineyard Merlot, 41% SummitVine Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Petit Verdot from the Chinn Vineyard in Coombsville. There were only 277 cases produced. I like to think of it as Headwaters on steroids.
The wine critic James Suckling described the wine as “Fresh and beautiful with blueberry, boysenberry and spice character. Hints of cedar and wood too. Full body, firm tannins and a bright finish. Gorgeous. Drink or hold. 93 Points”.
Also available now is perhaps my favorite of all the outstanding COHO wines from 2012, the Michael Black Vineyard Merlot. I’ve been visiting accounts in Northern and Southern California the last two weeks and I’ve been really gratified by how many knowing smiles this wine is generating. I’ve sold it to most of these accounts, with more than one commenting that despite the continued reluctance of some consumers to embrace Merlot, this is a wine that they are excited to put in their shops and change perceptions.
“A ripe and rich merlot with blueberry and black olive character. Full body, velvety tannins and a long, long finish. Very delicious indeed. Drink or hold. 92 Points” - James Suckling.
Our current offer showcases truly exceptional wines that mark the last efforts for COHO made by my former partner and winemaker, Brooks Painter. I want to take this moment to thank him again for all the delicious wines he made for COHO over the years. I think that when you enjoy any (and hopefully all of these) wines, a knowing smile will crinkle your face, and you’ll say a silent “Thanks, Brooks” too.