Featured User: Ely Cohn

Ely Cohn is 33 years old and lives in Austin, TX. He has been writing about wine since mid 2017 because 1) It's the best way to learn, and 2) It's a little keepsake once a wine is finished and gone forever. He believes Delectable has been a great outlet for those write-ups. His favorite foods are perfectly crispy skin roasted chicken and pizza (not at the same time). His favorite wines are anything and everything that is well balanced and doesn't contain too much oak influence. Delectable: What sparked your passion for wine? Ely Cohn: I’ve always had an obsessive personality, and I find things that I am interested in and tend to go down the rabbit hole until there’s a stopping point. There’s not a stopping point with wine. It started when I was living in Los Angeles back in 2007, and that’s when I started drinking and thinking at the same time. I was living near a wine shop in Los Angeles called Wally’s and being close to all the vineyards there and being part of that California cuisine and wine scene is what sparked it. It became this thing where the more you know, the more you don’t know. I haven’t stopped since, and that was over a decade ago. D: What wine region are you wild about right now? EC: Everything. I’m loving the Mosel . I love Riesling . I think Riesling is one of the most undervalued wines that exists in the $15-$20 range, especially the off-dry Rieslings – the Kabinetts . To get that level of complexity in Chardonnay, you have to spend $30-$60. I’ve consistently loved the Loire . I think that the Loire is one of the most unbelievable wine regions that still has a down-to-earthness which doesn’t exist universally. It’s also one of the regions that I was able to visit and had the the chance to meet with great producers out there like Nicolas Joly, Bernard Baudry and Huet. The Loire produces such a vast variety of wines from classic styles to some of the coolest natural wines. I also love the new wave of California winemakers. I’m talking about the guys who are producing what you might think of as natural wine, but aren’t necessarily the most funky, avant-garde examples. They are just really well-made wines that are in balance. Pax Mahle, Michael Cruse, Bedrock, Hardy Wallace from Dirty and Rowdy, and Arnot-Roberts are part of this incredible California sweet spot for me. D: What is the most unusual wine you’ve ever tried? EC: The most unusual wine that I’ve ever tried is also my favorite wine of 2018. This was a wine by the legendary winemaker Paolo Bea from Umbria. He makes a very heavily skin contacted wine that he calls Arboreus from Trebbiano, and it’s really interesting, starting with the gorgeous color. It has a burnt orange color that looks like fall leaves in a glass. It’s a skin contact wine, but it is so well-done because sometimes those wines can be really flawed. It has dessert notes of vanilla, bourbon and crème brulee, and a lot of tannic structure as well. But it is not sweet at all. It’s just extremely well-done. When I went to Loire, I got to meet Nicolas Joly and hangout with him for an afternoon, which was incredible. He makes a wine called Coulee de Serrant. His wines are so unique. They are biodynamic. They come from vineyards that you would think are the ugliest vineyards you’ve ever seen because there are no chemicals, pesticides or anything like that, so the grapes don’t look gorgeous and the leaves don’t look green and lush like they would in other vineyards. He makes a Chenin Blanc that will in some years reach alcohol levels of 17%, which is way higher than I usually like. About his Coulee de Serrant, he says that it is a wine that you should open and drink it at room temperature. Leave it open over the course of a week and drink it slowly to notice the changes. I opened one bottle while I was there in Loire and brought a couple back with me as well, and I think it is one of the most interesting and spectacular wines that you’ll ever try. D: What is your golden rule for wine? EC: We are looking for wines that we think are beautiful, but the one constant is that they always have to be in balance. If they’re not in balance, then to me it is not a beautiful wine. So my golden rule is that wine is about nothing more than the never-ending search for beauty in balance. D: Say you’re not allowed to have wine, what is your second option? EC: That’s easy. I am a regular drinker of Grappa , which is interesting because Grappa has the worst reputation. Every single night, I drink a little bit of Grappa that I keep in my freezer. If you drink it at room temperature, it’s absolutely miserable. I drink Grappa and I eat chocolate every night. That is my nightcap, and I love it. D: Choose a movie, book, quote, or song and pair it with a wine EC: Champagne with The Godfather because they’re both classic, timeless and will never go out of fashion. D: If you were a wine, what wine would you be? EC: I’m going to say Thierry Germain Les Roches specifically for the label. I love the label because the label sums up my love of wine. It’s a cartoon drawing of a person and it looks like you can see the person’s brain on the inside of his/her skull, but the brain is made up of grapevines. To me it's saying that we should always have our brains turned on when drinking wine. You can drink wine forever and never learn anymore about it, but if you have your brain turned on, if you're thinking, then the benefits and what you’ll get back is endless. I love that wine, and it is a perfect example of a wine that you can drink and enjoy and nothing more than that, or you can really dissect it and think about it and uncover layers upon layers.

Domaine des Roches Neuves (Thierry Germain)

Les Roches Saumur-Champigny Cabernet Franc 2016

Thierry Germain makes an unmistakable Loire cab franc in a beautiful biodynamic expression of the land. Les Roches is elegant with perfumes, fruit notes, earth components, and roasted bell pepper qualities and without complications from overpowering pyrazines. Grapes are 100% destemmed and so it is a softer wine with subtle smooth edges and well integrated acidity. It needs some time to open so either decant or be patient. I drank over three days and days two and three were best.

PS. I love the drawing on the label. Think and drink. Always.
— a year ago

Hugh, Ted and 22 others liked this
Severn Goodwin

Severn Goodwin Influencer Badge

@Ely Cohn Congratulations on your Delectable feature! Welcome the team! 🤓🍾

Savage Wines

Shiraz Blend 2016

This is a spectacularly good cool climate South African Shiraz blend from the highly talented Duncan Savage (formerly of Cape Point Vineyards).

It pushes fruit over iodine and has an appreciated light handed restrained extraction. Color is youthful translucent ruby with aromas of brand new leather gloves, graphite, and juniper. High acid dark plums and blackberries envelope perfectly grippy tannins and a mouthful of minerals, coffee, and violets. As elegant a Shiraz as I’ve tasted
— 10 months ago

Kirk, Neil and 15 others liked this

Pecchenino

Bricco Botti Dolcetto di Dogliani Superiore Dolcetto 2012

A stunning rich dense glass of ripe dark fruits in a ruby red robe. Aromas of violets, black plum, blackberry, red table grapes, Vietnamese cinnamon, cocoa, and strong chalky minerals. Flavors are fruity and also very ripe. Sweet blackberry and black cherry stewing in cinnamon and mocha. Time in neutral oak provides structure but not flavor. Built for food. — 10 months ago

Riddley, Neil and 13 others liked this

Paolo Bea

Arboreus Umbria IGT Trebbiano 2010

The Trebbiano in Paolo Bea’s Arboreus see extended skin contact and are joined in the vat by semi-dried grapes of the same variety. The finished wine is spectacular. Complex, deep, polished. Beautiful copper orange color with mile deep aromas of apricots, peach, orange, and vanilla bourbon. The texture is surreal and nonlinear. At first it’s dense and rich but then quickly slips into a medium tannic acidic body. Flavors of sweet honeyed orange, subtle notes of vanilla spice, and creme brûlée stick around for a long welcomed while.

Start this at cellar temp and drink slowly as it warms. Where so many orange wines are a novelty, this is an expertly assembled wine of purpose.
— a year ago

Ron, Cody and 26 others liked this
Ely Cohn

Ely Cohn

@Sharon B not dessert wine at all. Pretty bone dry.
Sharon B

Sharon B

@Ely Cohn i don’t think I’ve ever seen a wine that color then. Sounds good though!
Ely Cohn

Ely Cohn

@Sharon B Paolo bea is a legend. Worth every oenny

Meulenhof

Erdener Treppchen Kabinett Riesling 2015

So so good and not at all reflective of the $15 I paid (on clearance). Sweet rieslings are a hard sell for wine shops and I’ll continue to take advantage until the public eventually comes around. These wines are so misunderstood.

Meulenhof is a beautiful golden color and has a spectacular nose of petroleum, cinnamon, passion fruit, and baked lemon. Voluptuous and sweet with explosive fruit flavors. Think lemon verbena, lychee, honey, and orange marmalade.

Another treasure sourced from Terry Thiese.
— 10 months ago

Daniel, Neil and 23 others liked this
Peter van den Besselaar

Peter van den Besselaar Influencer Badge

Like your description. And your attitude towards misunderstood wines 😉
Ely Cohn

Ely Cohn

Thanks @Peter van den Besselaar appreciate the support - stock up on sweet Riesling!

Broc Cellars

Central Coast Sparkling Chenin Blanc 2016

Wild spirited and structured at once. Hazy pale yellow and completely unfiltered with aromas of skunky sour dough on a very dank nose of lemon and ginger. Fine bubbles. Flavors of high pitched baked lemon, honey, pear, and a dry finish of chalky limestone and spicy ginger notes. Always on hand - a staple. — a year ago

Dawn, MaJ and 16 others liked this

Vigneto Saetti

Rosso Viola Lambrusco 2016

This incredibly unique semi-carbonated Lambrusco is all about Red Delicious apples. Pretty crimson murky red with a tinge of copper on the brim. It’s completely dry with a bitter note reminiscent of apple skin. Tart cranberries and spiced cherry flavors formulate into a Dr. Pepper and nutmeg elixir. So unusual and so perfect for this time of year.

And more surprises - an odd cone shaped knobless Champagne cork that requires a corkscrew. It comes wrapped in a personal paper note from the winemaker about wine quality.
— 10 months ago

Daniel, Steve and 17 others liked this

Gonzalez Byass

Del Duque VORS Amontillado 1855

If you like snacking before dinner, this 30 year Amontillado will bring your aperitif game to new levels. Think about toasted hazelnuts and aged tan Gouda with the calcium crystal crunchies. The mahogany color is stunning and suggests extreme depth. The nose confirms with complex aromas of sweet dates, caramel, walnuts, vanilla, and toffee and probably twenty other notes that aren’t registering.

Aromas suggest sweet but it’s completely dry - salty, nutty, and slippery with a little bite. Sharp flavors of caramel apple and roasted cocoa nibs.
— 10 months ago

Hugh, Dick and 13 others liked this

Domaine Guiberteau

Les Moulins Saumur Chenin Blanc 2017

A deeply green Loire Chenin. Laser precise, electric, and acute. I love Becky Wasserman’s take: “punk rock violence, yet of Bach-like logic and profoundness.”

Aromas are subtle. Baked lemon, flint, chalk, baking spice, a whiff of smoke. Flavors of star fruit, kumquat, passion fruit, lime, and Meyer lemon.

Table melting acid.
— 10 months ago

Dawn, Neil and 21 others liked this

Domaine Lionnet

Terre Brûlée Cornas Syrah 2012

Cornas wines are a gem that I need to seek out more. They are bold, unsubtle expressions of what could be the world’s greatest red grape - Syrah. The best examples are extraordinary. As a friend recently observed, my generation could embrace Cornas the way my parent’s generation has embraced Bordeaux.

Domaine Lionnet is a tiny two person operation with just 2.2 tiny hectares. Terre Brûlée is something dense and rich, spectacular, and completely unostentatious and pure. The nose has generous blackberry and violet. The palette is supported with strong tannin and upfront flavors of blackberry and raspberry and with an underlay of meat, olive, and iodine.

The balance is what makes the beauty.
— a year ago

Ely, MaJ and 22 others liked this