2011 Kosta Browne "Gap's Crown Vineyard" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir (Previously $140)
*Two Stars* If tilting a touch more to ripeness than most of its North Coast kin, this bottling does not err to softness, and its big-shouldered style comes with lots of firm muscle. It is a big, well-extracted, very substantial Pinot, to be sure, with abundant flavors of raspberries and sweet cherries, and it carries a strong imprint of rich oak. Its lengthy flavors are underpinned by a firm streak of tannin, and it ends with the kind of finishing grip that predicts a very good future.
One of the more finessed wines in this range, the 2011 Pinot Noir Gap's Crown Vineyard is showing beautifully today. Bright saline notes underpin the blue/black fruit in an intense Pinot loaded with personality. At once rich yet powerful, the 2011 is wonderfully balanced. The Gap's Crown plays in all dimensions, from floral, high-toned aromatics to dark, baritone-inflected fruit, the Gap's Crown has it all. For that reason, it is one of the best wines in the range. Kosta Browne has recently signed a long-term lease at Gap's Crown, which is run by the same group that owns the winery. While the Gaps' Crown Pinot itself is terrific, what really stands out is the importance of site and control over farming as key factors that determinine overall quality. (AG)
Strikes a beautiful balance between ripe plum, raspberry and black cherry notes and subtle, delicate floral, lavender and anise scents, turning supple and graceful on the finish. Drink now through 2019. (JL)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Ruby-red. Intense, spice-accented cherry and dark berry aromas are complemented by notes of woodsmoke and licorice. Highly perfumed on the palate, which offers sweet red fruit and floral pastille flavors and a touch of bitter chocolate. Closes smooth and long, with resonating spiciness and subtle, well-knit tannins. (ST)