2012 Kosta Browne "Koplen Vineyard" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1186589 95 points Connoisseurs Guide

 We are more than impressed by the new Kosta Browne line-up, and picking favorites from so many good wines is a difficult, if happy, task. That said this bottle is so well-balanced and generously endowed with definitive varietal fruit that it vies for a place at the head of class. Its themes of optimally ripened cherries are enriched with very sensible sweet oak, and it shows a slight bit of structural sinew under its ample flesh, but it is never heavy or in any way tough, and its future is as sure as a sure thing can be. *Three Stars*  (7/2014)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2012 Pinot Noir Koplen Vineyard has an edgy, vibrant feel with its plum and sweet black cherry fruits, charred spices and licorice giving way to hints of spring flowers and mint. Layered, beautifully pure and defined, with bight, yet integrated acidity, it needs another year in the cellar, and will impress through 2020. This was another stacked lineup by the team of Dan Kosta and Michael Browne. All of these wines showed the more approachable style of the 2012 vintage, and had seamless, elegant characters. They're beautiful now, but I suspect they will evolve nicely given their overall balance. (JD)  (10/2014)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Deep ruby. Brooding aromas of blackberry, licorice and smoky Indian spices. Sweet and broad on entry, then penetrating, sappy and focused in the mid-palate, with deep blackberry and mineral flavors becoming livelier with air. Finishes with a strong youthfully tannic spine and very good energy and length. Definitely give this one more time in bottle. (ST)  (5/2014)

91 points Vinous

 Sweet tobacco, mint, crushed flowers and red cherries are all laced together in the 2012 Pinot Noir Koplen Vineyard. The inclusion of 20% whole clusters give the wine an attractive sense of brightness that is felt in both the expressive aromatics and saline notes that underpin the fruit. I would prefer to drink this soft, mid-weight wine over the next handful of years. (AG)  (1/2015)

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Price: $104.99
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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 Sp├Ątburgunder 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.


- 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.
Specific Appellation:

Alexander Valley/Russian River

- Among Sonoma County's northernmost appellations, the Alexander Valley AVA acts as a gateway to neighboring Napa to the east and Mendocino to the north. It is a sprawling appellation, with pockets of distinct microclimates and soils, and as such, is home to a variety of wine grapes and styles. Nearly everything grows in the Alexander Valley, though Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are the most widely planted grapes. The Russian River Valley lies to the south of Alexander Valley, and is marked by much cooler temperatures and frequently heavy fog. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grown here are some of the state's finest and most sought-after. Aromatic whites like Gew├╝rztraminer and Riesling can also be successful, and sparkling wine production has a long history in the area.