2011 Kosta Browne Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

SKU #1128200 91 points Connoisseurs Guide

 *Two Stars* We have found it not all that uncommon for a Pinot producer's appellation bottlings to equal or even surpass some of its single-vineyard examples, and this very deep and carefully constructed effort gives its pricier partners a good run for their money. It is long on ripe-cherry fruit and accented with bright, raspberry-like notes, and it is perked up by neatly placed acidity from first sip to finish. It will keep very well by dint of its exemplary balance, yet it is so accessible and outgoing now that early drinking is a wholly guilt-free proposition.  (10/2013)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Offering up a supple, perfumed and delicate array of kirsch, crushed berries, spice and forest floor, the 2011 Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands) flows onto the palate with a light, deft texture, bright acidity and a clean, nicely focused finish. This isn’t a heavy weight and excels on its aromatics and balance more than power or richness. (JD)  (8/2013)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Full ruby. A powerfully scented bouquet displays smoky black raspberry, cherry, licorice and oak spices. Pliant dark berry flavors gain energy with air, taking a turn to zestier raspberry and bitter cherry. Impressively deep but focused and energetic Pinot, with excellent finishing lift and lingering spiciness. (ST)  (6/2013)

90 points James Suckling

 Drinking very well now with lots of dried-strawberry and cherry character, and hints of dusty earth. Full body with good acidity and a lightly chewy finish.  (3/2015)

90 points Wine Spectator

 Gutsy, showing tannic muscle, this offers tidbits of dark berry, grainy and gripping tannins, cedar and crushed rock. This is complete, but should improve with cellaring. (JL)


 Dark cherries, plums, smoke and menthol meld together in the 2011 Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands). This is one of the more immediate wines in the range and appears to be built for near term drinking. Most of the fruit is from Sierra Mar and Soberanes. (AG)  (2/2014)

K&L Notes

Kosta Browne's 2011 Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir was sourced from five vineyards, including the very familiar Pisoni, Garys', and Rosella's. It was aged for 16 months in 50% new French oak before bottling. From the winery: "Our Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir is a luscious mouth-filling wine. It is deeply structured with supple tannins centered in the mid-palate. A sweet and sour mix of red and black fruits; penetrating red cherry and blackberry dominate, ending in a clean strawberry and dark cherry finish."

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Price: $66.99
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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.

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.


- 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:

Santa Lucia Highlands

Alcohol Content (%): 14.5