Coho Wines2005 Headwaters
After losing all but a dozen cases of its first two offerings in a warehouse fire that destroyed wines from 70 properties valued at $150 million, tiny Coho’s 2005 Headwaters is a wine that is, figuratively, on fire.
Chiefly a Merlot from the lower portion of the 18-year-old Michael Black Vineyard in the Coombsville area, east of the town of Napa (from where the Cab and Petit Verdot is also sourced, from other vineyards), this red blend is big and juicy with aromas of red currant, red plum and some cinnamon. In the mouth, too, it’s juicy and bright with sweet fruit. The description, I realize, makes this effort seem showy, but it’s anything but. Rather, it’s a classic red wine that is stylish and delicious and well put together by winemaker Brooks Painter.
There were 1,552 cases originally produced, but only about 500 remain, with most of that already allocated. But managing partner Gary Lipp assures me that some still does exist, so e-mail Coho at firstname.lastname@example.org. Having no vested interest in Coho, I urge you to do so, only because this is a wonderful wine, and well-priced.
The wine was aged for nearly two years in 45 percent new French barrels. The stated alcohol is 14.4 percent and the pH is 3.56.
Reviewed February 20, 2008 by Alan Goldfarb.
Alan Goldfarb has been writing about and reviewing wine for 17 years. His reviews have been published in the St. Helena Star, San Jose Mercury, San Francisco Examiner, Decanter, and Wine Enthusiast, among others. Not once has he used a point system, star system, or an iconic symbol to quantify a wine. What counts in Mr. Goldfarb’s criteria when judging a wine is: how it tastes in the glass; is it well-constructed; its food compatibility; and presence of redeeming regional attributes.