The evening started in the restaurant 2100 Prime with a B.R Cohn WIne Dinner2010 Silver Chardonnay. Tom Ewing, a wine broker for B.R. Cohn hosted the evening, along with the hotel’s Gerard Folley, director of rooms.  Tom opened the evening with a short history of the winery:
Bruce Cohn, founder and proprietor of B.R. Cohn Winery, has embraced a lifelong passion for Northern California’s wine country and music. Bruce was manager for one of  rock ‘n’ roll’s perennially favorite American bands, The Doobie Brothers.
Bruce spent most of his life on a farm after his family moved from Chicago and after a strong career in the music industry, he was eventually drawn back to the beauty of wine country. To keep some sanity and preserve quality of life, he purchased an old dairy in Glen Ellen in 1974 that evolved into Olive Hill Estate Vineyard, so-named for the property’s grove of 140-year-old French Picholine olive trees.
Bruce purchased books on viticulture and read them during long periods of traveling with the band. He soon became intensely involved with all aspects of growing grapes, from planting and pruning to grafting and trellising techniques. A decade after taking ownership of the land and having great success selling grapes to other wineries, Bruce started B.R. Cohn Winery at Olive Hill in 1984.The winery produces about 25,000 – 30,000 cases a year. Learn more here.
While Tom was explaining the history, guests sipped the 2010 Silver Chardonnary, which is almost like an aperitif, has a bit of acidity. We then tasted the first course, Pan Roasted Line Caught Cod with Saffron Spinach Broth paired with 2009 Sangiacomo Chardonnary. The Sangiacomo grape comes from an old Italian family, who was in the wine business from the Prohibition. This is well balanced wine, nicely acidic. It’s a fruity wine with lots of fruit, needed to balance out the Code and Saffron broth. The fish was flaky, and white, but could have used a bit of salt to bring out the flavor; the broth was a pale yellow and the spinach perfectly cooked, and a bright green.
The second course, Grilled Scottish Salmon Fillet with Forbidden Rice and Pinot Butter, was rich so the 2008 Pinot Noir (yes red wine with fish) held up beautifully. These grapes grow in the Russian River Valley where there is a lot of fog, which is one of the top areas in the country to grow this grape. It has great fruit and the wine stood up nicely with the creamy, somewhat fatty fish. Forbidden rice was black and had a nutty flavor.
Next we had Prosciutto wrapped Roast Pork Tenderloin with celery, black olive and tomato tossed Pappardelle paired with the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Olive Hill. These grapes grow where it’s cool and little light. This particular wine was fermented in a magnum, which had no increase in temperature or light. The salty olives, plus the somewhat fruity pork was perfect with this dry, poignant wine.
The dessert was a crepe wrapped over melted fennel and spinach topped with an aged Cheddar sauce, a bit too heavy for me, but very tasty. This paired with a 2008 Zinfandel, which attacked the heavy dish, making it lighter and much different in taste. This wine had low tannines and a soft finish.
We hope you enjoyed these tasting notes and feel free to come back to one of our wine dinners and come for the first time. You won’t be disappointed. To purchase any of the B.R. Cohn wines, go here.