2009 Kosta Browne Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

SKU #1067638 95 points Wine Spectator

 (Wine Spectator's 2011 Wine of the Year) Ripe and deeply flavored, concentrated and well-structured, this full-bodied red offers a complex mix of black cherry, wild berry and raspberry fruit that's pure and persistent, ending with a pebbly note and firm tannins.  (8/ 2011)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 When it comes to the Sonoma Coast appellation, not all vineyards are created alike. Some are pretty far from the coast, actually, but this is not the case with the sources for this Sonoma Coast bottling from Kosta Browne. Made with fruit from the chilly Gap's Crown and Terra de Promissio vineyards in the Petaluma Wind Gap and from the Walala Vineyard in the northwestern part of the appellation near Annapolis (think Peay, Hirsch). Its nose is delicately floral and herbaceous--like rose petals and Provencal herbs--with tangy cherry and cranberry scents that follow. There's deeper black fruit and the same high-toned red fruitfrom the nose everywhere on the palate--upfront, filling out the middle and lingering on the finish. Juicy acidity, fine, well-integrated tannins and lavender-chocolate accents add depth now, and just hint at the underlying complexity this beautiful wine will gain as it ages.  (6/ 2011)

90 points Connoisseurs Guide

 Its first aromas of ripe red cherries combine with background notes of tart black cherries, hints of cappuccino and intriguing notes of smoky oak.  (10/ 2011)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2009 Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast is dark, round and totally gorgeous. In 2009 the Sonoma Coast is bigger and richer than the Russian River bottling. It boasts tons of juiciness in its layered, highly expressive fruit. Dark cherries, violets, licorice, spices and mint are given an extra kick of freshness from these cold-climate sites. The Sonoma Coast bottling is made from two vineyards in the Petaluma Gap and a third site on the northern coast near Annapolis. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2017. (AG)  (2/ 2012)

K&L Notes

"Kosta Browne is one of the great American success stories of the last decade," adds Wine Advocate. "The story begins when longtime friends Dan Kosta and Michael Browne discover a shared passion for Pinot Noir while working together at a local restaurant. They start with a tiny amount of homemade Pinot Noir, grow gradually, acquire some financing along the way, work their tails off and one day the mailing list requires a five year wait for the vineyard designated wines. Of course I am simplifying, but Kosta Browne is the type of entrepreneurial success that can only happen in this country. Over the years, as the winemaking approach has developed, the wines have become much more finessed than they used to be. Toast levels have come down. Some lots are fermented in open top wood vats, an approach that seems promising based on the wines I tasted. A number of the wines were fermented with whole clusters, as noted below. The Kosta-Browne Pinots are notable for their exuberant fruit. The wines are incredibly attractive when young, which is when I prefer to drink them." (02/2012)

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Varietal:

Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).