2014 Kosta Browne "Gap's Crown Vineyard" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir (Previously $140)

SKU #1278361 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Coming from steep, rocky soils on the Sonoma Coast, the 2014 Pinot Noir Gap's Crown Vineyard was brought up in 25% new French oak, 16% concrete and the rest in old barrels. All of the Pinot Noirs here go into barrel dry and see malolactic fermentation in barrel. This fabulous beauty gives up notes of black cherries, spring flowers, violets and spice in a medium-bodied, ultra-pure, seamless and elegant package that will benefit from short term cellaring and then cruise for a decade on its impeccable balance. This was another rock star lineup from Kosta Browne and it’s certainly one of the most impressive lineups I tasted all year. And while I generally consider 2013 to be a better vintage than 2014, these 2014s are a step up over last year’s releases, which were no slouches either. The estate continues to use moderate amounts of whole clusters for their reds, and aging occurs in varying amounts of French oak (and recently, some concrete). While these are big, rich wines, they’re in no way over the top and the vast majority have classic, structured and age-worthy profiles. Other producers at this level are few and far between. (JD)  (8/2016)

90 points Vinous

 The 2014 Pinot Noir Gap's Crown is pretty, silky and polished, even if it is lacking a touch of depth through the middle. Sweet red cherry, pomegranate, blood orange and sweet floral notes give the 2014 its gracious, mid-weight personality. Bright chalk and minty notes add aromatic intrigue as the wine opens up with time. There is a lot going on at Kosta Browne these days, which just goes to show how unrelentingly committed the winery is to improving quality all around. It's amazing to think how much KB has come along in the nearly twenty years since Dan Kosta and Michael Browne started off with just a few barrels of Pinot Noir...As for the 2014s, they are solid across the board. A number of the wines are, however, lacking a bit of depth, something that is not uncommon in this vintage more broadly. Hopefully Cueva and his team will mine the depths of Hervet's experience and take Kosta Browne to the next level. (AG)  (7/2016)

90 points Wine Spectator

 Supple and generous, with ripe plum and blackberry flavors, this is aromatic and delicate, enticingly friendly and easy to drink, ending with fine-grained tannins. Drink now. 2,694 cases made.  (9/2016)

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Price: $109.99

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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).