2009 Kosta Browne Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
(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.
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.
Its first aromas of ripe red cherries combine with background notes of tart black cherries, hints of cappuccino and intriguing notes of smoky oak.
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.
"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)