2012 Kosta Browne "Giusti Ranch" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1190640 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 I believe a new vineyard, the 2012 Pinot Noir Giusti Vineyard, shares some similarities to the the Koplen Vineyard, with its intense, focused style. Showing plenty of plum, licorice, toasted spices (cinnamon) and hints of vanilla bean, this beauty flows onto the palate with no hard edges, beautiful mid-palate density and a focused, lengthy feel on the finish. Nothing is out of place here, and it's a rock-star bottle of wine that can be consumed anytime over the coming 4-6 years. 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

 Vivid ruby. Aromas of black raspberry, incense and cola, with a bright mineral note adding lift. On the palate, vibrant red and dark berry flavors deepen with air while retaining very good clarity. Firms up on the penetrating finish, which features youthfully chewy tannins and a whiplash of bitter cherry. (ST)  (5/2014)

92 points Vinous

 The 2012 Pinot Noir Giusti Ranch, from an early-ripening site in the Russian River Valley, is rich and exuberant to the core. Clovers, violets, menthol, smoke and cloves wrap around a core of dark, inky fruit. I imagine the 2012 will drink well for a number of years, but I would prefer to enjoy it on the young side, while the fruit retains its juiciness. This site in Forestville was founded by Italian immigrants in the 1870s. (AG)  (1/2015)

91 points Wine Spectator

 Firm, with a dense, expansive core of dark berry, mineral, dried herb, dried porcino mushroom and black tea flavors, ending with dry, gripping tannins and a pleasant push of fruit on the finish. (JL)  (9/2014)

Connoisseurs Guide

 Among those Kosta Browne bottlings that lean a little more to ripeness and a fairly plush Pinot with a big, creamy oak presence, this one is charged with a full dose of cherry- and strawberry-like fruit with intriguing accents of dusty roses. It is full and quite supple with nominal tannins and a touch of eleventh-hour heat to its less-than-genteel finish, but a bit of polish will come even if elegance may not, and it fully deserves three to five years of age. *One Star*  (7/2014)

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Price: $114.99
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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.


- 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 Gewürztraminer and Riesling can also be successful, and sparkling wine production has a long history in the area.