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Proprietor and winemaker Mark Davis is the assistant winemaker at O'Brien Estate Winery in the Oak Knoll AVA of Napa Valley, and crafts small amounts of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir under the Cobden Wini label. The label pays homage to his parents' middle names.
Mark grew up in Maryland and graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in chemical engineering. His boredom with his government job and love of fermentation science led him to California to become a winemaker. He enrolled in the UC Davis viticulture and enology program and graduated with honors in 2012 and received an honorary department citation for outstanding achievement in viticulture and enology.
After several vintages across Northern California, Australia and South Africa, he started his own label with the release of the 2012 Cobden Wini Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. The wine is made from several vineyard sources. In 2012, the vineyards were Moore Family Vineyard, Fulton Road Vineyard and Sullivan Family Vineyard. In 2013, Hogan's Run Vineyard was added.
The wine is sold in 3, 5 or 12 bottle packs on the website
2016 Cobden Wini Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
14.0% alc., pH 3.67, TA 0.61, 125 cases, $50. Released January 11, 2018. Minimal sulfur used in vinification. Lots were inoculated by proprietary yeasts. Aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 40% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Aromas of earth-dusted Bing cherry and cola. Discreetly concentrated spiced black cherry goodness with a hint of tobacco oak in the background. Silky and refined on the palate, with gentile tannins and a lengthy, cherry-laden finish. This wine is not a blockbuster, but is more in line with what most prefer in a Pinot Noir. Even better when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 91. Reviewed August 24, 2018 ARTICLE »
2016 Cobden Wini Reserve Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
14.0% alc., pH 3.68, TA 0.60, 100 cases, $75. Produced from south-facing, hillside blocks on the estate vineyard. Rich clay soils, a cool microclimate, and low yields. A four barrel selection by winemaker Mark Davis. These barrels were kept on the lees an additional 7 months (for a total of 18 months), with each barrel stirred monthly. The wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Leading off are aromas of black grape, black berry, prune and vanilla, with a slight bit of volatile acidity that dissipates. This is a very ripe-fruited wine offering mid weight flavors of black cherry and blackberry accompanied by underlying toasty oak. Sleek in texture, finishing smooth, long and ingratiating. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine was less appealing, with a roasted fruit tone and more aggressive oak accompaniment. Score: 89. Reviewed January 17, 2019 ARTICLE »
2015 Cobden Wini Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
14.0% alc., pH 3.57, TA 0.63, 100 cases, $50. Released 11/11/16. Minimum sulfur used in vinification. Aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Nicely appointed aromas of Montmorency cherry, spice and complimentary oak. Prudently concentrated, with bright flavors of dark cherry, plum, cola, tobacco and spice. Silky in the mouth with good harmony, tactful oak in the background, and a deep cherry finish. Score: 92. Reviewed June 4, 2017
2013 Cobden Wini Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
14.7% alc., pH 3.71, TA 0.57, 90 cases, $40. Sourced from Hogan’s Run and Moore Family vineyards. Clones 667 and 777. Aged sur lie with monthly batonage for 11 months in 100% French oak barrels, 50% new. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Lovely aromas of fresh Bing cherries and forest floor. The oak-kissed, mid weight plus core of juicy black cherry and pomegranate fruit is full-flavored and pleasing. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine was considerably more appealing with better oak integration and more polish. The wine packs a little heat on the finish. Score: 89. Reviewed April 20, 2015 ARTICLE »
2012 Cobden Wini Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
14.5% alc., 100 cases, pH 3.69, TA 0.58, $36. Name of label pays homage to the middle names of the winemaker’s parents. Label says, “Dog ate tasting notes.” Fruit sourced from 3 vineyards. Clones 777 and Pommard. Maco-bin fermented, barrel aged sur lie with monthly batonage for 10 months in 33% new French oak. Unfined and unfiltered. Vinified by Mark Davis, assistant winemaker at O’Brien Estate Winery (Oak Knoll AVA) with previous experience at Twomey Cellars. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Shy and mysterious upon opening featuring aromas of dark red and purple fruits. Earthy and well oaked on the palate with mid weight flavors of black cherry and black raspberry with a hint of tobacco and spice. Very smoothly textured with a modest finish. Better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle showing very ripe fruit aromas and flavors, and notes of oak-driven char, dark chocolate and spice. Score: 88. Reviewed August 15, 2014 ARTICLE »