TN: Cowan Cellars 2013 North Coast White Wine "Bel"

Don’t claim know much if anything about this wine but it certainly was enjoyable. Citrus on the nose with a mid-palate of lemon and maybe a little pear with just the right amount of acidity. Nice finish that paired perfectly with broiled fish/risotto/asparagus. We finished the bottle (12.5% alc) on the patio, making for a nice late spring enjoyment. Purchased during WB days and is greatly appreciated. Thanks Jim.


Glad you enjoyed.
It’s 80% direct press Sauvignon Blanc and 20% skin-fermented ribolla gialla. Started its life a bit too angular for me but has come together in the years since bottling. And you picked good pairings for it.
Best, Jim

Just had the 14 fiano Jim. Really nice. Been loving the wines I got via BerserkerDay. Thanks!

Not too many sous voile fiano’s running around out there - curious as to what you had it with?
Best, Jim

Had over two nights. First with a ground pork burger with salad with beets and pepitas. Second night with poached eggs and potato hash and a repeat in the salad. Warm weather both evenings too. Was lovely and just faintly ox’ed. I’m really impressed with your whites, singular stuff.

A bottle of the Fiano recently won the Thunderbird Award at a dinner with mostly ITB friends at a Malaysian restaurant. It was delicious with the meal.

Thank you.
Best, Jim



The Oscar of the wine world is the Thunderbird.
We tend to choose less presumptive labels/bottles, however.
Best, Jim


It is yet another contribution to online wine discussion from the inestimable Stuart Yaniger, though I believe it was originally coined at the Wine Box (a SoCal wine storage facility that when owned by Steve Ein was the scene of legendary evenings of wine consumption). The Thunderbird Award goes to the first bottle emptied at a time when multiple bottles of wine are consumed.

Thanks for the explanation. I had never heard the term.

I went through my 6-pack of Cowan wines faster than any of my other BD purchases and the individual bottles seemed to drain fast too. All were very enjoyable and offered great QPR.

You won’t go wrong with any of Jim’s wines. We love the Bel.

Still have two bottles of the 2012 Lake Country PN we are waiting to try. Hope they are just as good.


I opened a bottle of the 2013 BEL last night and swear I was getting fresh sweet corn on the nose. I’ve never really experienced that one before so- 1. am I nuts? 2. If not, is that the Ribolla?

Ribolla, especially when skin-fermented, can give a variety of atypical aromas. The ribolla in this wine was skin-fermented.
I’ve had it come across as hay, broth, apricot skin, nutmeg, etc. all depending on my mood, age of the wine and service temperature. I also noticed those aromas morph if the wine is left open over time.
Fun stuff.
Best, Jim

Your Rose’ won the Thunderbird award this past Sunday next to some pretty fancy very rare bottles.

That’s because you had a straw. Not fair.

A trumpet player taught me circular breathing so now I can chug a whole bottle without a break.