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Posts tagged ‘Kosta Browne’

2011 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – Bottle Notes

Kosta Browne began as a dream shared by Dan Kosta and Michael Browne. In the summer of 1997, while working at John Ash & Co. restaurant in Santa Rosa, California, Dan and Michael decided to pool their tips and venture into winemaking. Twenty years later, Kosta Browne is one of the most sought after Pinot Noirs in all of California. At present time they produce three appellation Pinot Noirs, eight single vineyard Pinot Noirs and a Chardonnay.

Sourced from Gap’s Crown, Walala and Terra de Promissio vineyards.

Light crimson in color. 14.4% ABV. Gorgeous nose of red fruits, cloves, baking spices and forest floor. Light to medium body with refreshing acidity. Loads of upfront fruit but plenty of structure and balance. Cherries, cranberries, pomegranate and cinnamon on the palate. There are still some tannins on a glorious finish. The wine bodes well for the 2011 Kosta Browne single vineyard wines. Drink over the next 2-3 years.

My rating: 92 points.

The 2016 version will be released next Spring and will likely cost around $70. I’ll be a buyer. Past vintages of this wine frequently show up on WineBid for at or near the original release cost.

As I mentioned in the Fab 5 of Mailing Lists, Kosta Browne is one of hardest lists to crack. Maybe so, but you’ve got nothing to lose by putting your name on the waiting list. Good luck!

Kosta Browne fared well in last year’s version of The 2016 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.

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Wines People Love to Hate

There are no shortage of wines that collectors consider polarizing. Pegau for the often noticeable brett. Cayuse for the funky smells that I oh so love. Silver Oak for the dill pickle smell from American oak. Beyond these examples though there is a special pedestal for the most polarizing wines. Literally, the wines that collectors love to hate. The two poster child wines for this category are undoubtedly Kosta Browne and Quilceda Creek.

Any thread on a wine board about either of these producers draws out detractors who are only slightly less vociferous than your friend on Facebook who has to post about our current president every day of the week. Comments like “I dropped that list in 2009” or “I emailed the winery and told them to remove my name from the list” are somewhat commonplace on these threads. No one really cares, but the same individuals feel compelled to weigh in any time the wines are mentioned.

Kosta Browne was founded in 1997 by Dan Kosta and Michael Browne. The first several vintages produced were rich, plush and hedonistic. They received very high scores from James Laube at the Wine Spectator. Despite the high scores the wines were criticized for not resembling Burgundy in any manner shape or form. Many questioned the ageability of the wines. Starting in 2007 or so the wines seem to have become more balanced and nuanced all the while still having this amazing fruit forward style that fans of Kosta Browne adore. Prices have steadily increased and the appellation wines now cost $68 and the SVD wines over $80. This is another point of contention for the naysayers. In spite of all this the waiting list at Kosta Browne is about as long as any list in California.

Quilceda Creek Vintners was founded in 1978 by Alex and Jeanette Golitzin. The wines have always been well known in the state of Washington but it was a series of 100 points scores from the Wine Advocate in the early 2000’s that propelled Quilceda Creek to the very pinnacle of domestic Cabernet Sauvignon. Many detractors point to a clear change in style about the time the high scores started rolling in. The wines made pre 2002 were more old world in style with traditional Bordeaux like structure and taste. The 2002 vintage, and subsequent wines have been made in a fashion that many say catered to the Robert Parker crowd. Big, lush, hedonistic Cabernet with more of a blue fruit profile. The high scores led to increased demand and subsequently higher prices. The cost for their flagship Cabernet Sauvignon doubled over the course of a decade.

So what do these wines have in common? Both are tremendously successful and have received high praise from critics. Both have rightfully raised prices over time. Both clearly cater to a new world palate. I’m not sure any of this is bad or should draw the ire of a certain group of collectors. Perhaps early members of the winery mailing lists felt alienated as prices increased or styles changed? Either way I am not sure what compels them to weigh in every time either winery is mentioned. Life is short and wine should be fun. Please move on and let the rest of celebrate Kosta Browne and Quilceda Creek.

I blogged about Kosta Browne and Burgundy in Kosta Browne Does Not Taste Like Burgundy. Get Over It.

I blogged about Quilceda Creek price increases in An Open Letter to Quilceda Creek Winery.

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2011 Kanzler Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – Bottle Notes

Kanzler Vineyards, located in California near Sebasopol, was founded in 1996 by Stephen and Lynda Kanzler. Planted in 1996 in a former apple orchard, the vineyard quickly developed a reputation for producing world class Pinot Noir grapes featured in award winning wines from some of the finest wineries in Northern California, including Kosta Browne, A.P. Vin and Rivers-Marie. In 2004, the Kanzlers launched their own label featuring grapes grown exclusively from their vineyard. Alex Kanzler, the son of Stephen and Lynda, is the current winemaker.

Light crimson in color. Almost translucent. 14.1% ABV. Really pretty nose of red fruits, cloves and sassafras. Light and ethereal with perfect acidity. Cherries, cranberries, strawberries and baking spices on the palate. The finish is exquisite. Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir simply does not get much better. Drink over the next 2-3 years.

My rating: 94 points.

The 2015 vintage of Kanzler was recently released via the mailing list at a price of $58. Highly recommended.

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2008 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Keefer Ranch Vineyard – Bottle Notes

Kosta Browne began as a dream shared by Dan Kosta and Michael Browne. In the summer of 1997, while working at John Ash & Co. restaurant in Santa Rosa, California, Dan and Michael decided to pool their tips and venture into winemaking. Twenty years later, Kosta Browne is one of the most sought after Pinot Noirs in all of California. At present time they produce three appellation Pinot Noirs, eight single vineyard Pinot Noirs and a Chardonnay.

Keefer Ranch is located in the Green Valley appellation in the southwestern corner of the Russian River Valley.

Light red in color. 14.7% ABV. Pretty nose of red and black fruits, nutmeg, cloves and cherry cola. Silky, bright and fruit forward with loads of acidity. Black cherry, rhubarb, cranberry and baking spices on the palate. The finish is long and plush. Absolutely stunning Pinot Noir. At or near the pinnacle for this variety in the Russian River Valley. Drink over the next 2-3 years.

My rating: 95 points.

The 2015 version will be released this Fall and will likely cost around $80. Past vintages of this wine frequently show up on WineBid for at or near the original release cost.

As I mentioned in the Fab 5 of Mailing Lists, Kosta Browne is one of hardest lists to crack. Maybe so, but you’ve got nothing to lose by putting your name on the waiting list. Good luck!

Kosta Browne fared well in last year’s version of The 2016 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.

If you enjoyed this post please consider subscribing to Zinfandel Chronicles updates by email.

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2011 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands – Bottle Notes

Kosta Browne began as a dream shared by Dan Kosta and Michael Browne. In the summer of 1997, while working at John Ash & Co. restaurant in Santa Rosa, California, Dan and Michael decided to pool their tips and venture into winemaking. Twenty years later, Kosta Browne is one of the most sought after Pinot Noirs in all of California. At present time they produce three appellation Pinot Noirs, eight single vineyard Pinot Noirs and a Chardonnay.

The fruit for the 2011 Santa Lucia Highlands was sourced from Garys’, Pisoni, Rosella’s, Sierra Mar and Soberanes Vineyards.

Light crimson in color. 14.5% AB. Pretty nose of red fruits, baking spice and forest floor. Medium body with medium to strong acidity. Light and more earthy than the other Kosta Browne appellation wines. Cherries, cranberries, spice and sarsaparilla on the palate. The finish is long and the earthy tones linger. Slightly less impressive in this vintage than the Sonoma Coast and Russian River Valley. Drink over the next 2-4 years.

My rating: 91 points.

The 2015 version was recently released for $68. As I mentioned in the Fab 5 of Mailing Lists, Kosta Browne is one of hardest lists to crack. Maybe so, but you’ve got nothing to lose by putting your name on the waiting list. Good luck!

Kosta Browne fared well in last year’s version of The 2016 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.

If you enjoyed this post please consider subscribing to Zinfandel Chronicles updates by email.

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2008 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Koplen Vineyard – Bottle Notes

Kosta Browne began as a dream shared by Dan Kosta and Michael Browne. In the summer of 1997, while working at John Ash & Co. restaurant in Santa Rosa, California, Dan and Michael decided to pool their tips and venture into winemaking. Fifteen years later, Kosta Browne is one of the most sought after Pinot Noirs in all of California. At present time they produce three appellation Pinot Noirs, eight single vineyard Pinot Noirs and a Chardonnay.

The Koplen Vineyard lies in the Middle Reach of the Russian River appellation, just off Olivet Road. Slightly sloped, this young vineyard is showing bold fruit with complex flavors. Dennis Koplen farms the vineyard and Kosta Browne is the only producer to take fruit from this vineyard.

Crimson in color. 14.8% ABV. Pretty nose of red fruits, baking spices, cloves and a touch of forest floor. Medium body with ample acidity. Still packed with fruit but in a more elegant package at nine years of age. Black cherry, anise, cinnamon and sarsaparilla on the palate. The finish is glorious. Stunning Pinot Noir and everything I love about Kosta Browne. Drink over the next several years.

My rating: 94 points.

The 2015 version will be released next Fall. As I mentioned in the Fab 5 of Mailing Lists, Kosta Browne is one of hardest lists to crack. Maybe so, but you’ve got nothing to lose by putting your name on the waiting list. Good luck!

Kosta Browne fared well in last year’s version of The 2016 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.

If you enjoyed this post please consider subscribing to Zinfandel Chronicles updates by email.

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2010 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Russian River Valley – Bottle Notes

Kosta Browne began as a dream shared by Dan Kosta and Michael Browne. In the summer of 1997, while working at John Ash & Co. restaurant in Santa Rosa, California, Dan and Michael decided to pool their tips and venture into winemaking. Fifteen years later, Kosta Browne is one of the most sought after Pinot Noirs in all of California. At present time they produce three appellation Pinot Noirs, eight single vineyard Pinot Noirs and a Chardonnay.

The 2010 Russian River Valley was sourced from 10 separate vineyards including Kanzler, Koplen and Amber Ridge.

Crimson in color. 14.6% ABV. Spectacular nose cherries, cloves and nutmeg. Medium to full body with plenty of acidity. Plush and exotic. Cranberries, cherry cola and baking spices on the palate. The finish is long and silky. Everything I look for in a Russian River Valley Pinot Noir and Kosta Browne in particular. Absolutely delicious. Drink over the next 2-4 years.

My rating: 92 points.

The 2015 version will be released next Spring. As I mentioned in the Fab 5 of Mailing Lists, Kosta Browne is one of hardest lists to crack. Maybe so, but you’ve got nothing to lose by putting your name on the waiting list. Good luck!

Kosta Browne fared well in last year’s version of The 2016 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.

If you enjoyed this post please consider subscribing to Zinfandel Chronicles updates by email.

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2010 Kanzler Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – Bottle Notes

Kanzler Vineyards, located in California near Sebasopol, was founded in 1996 by Stephen and Lynda Kanzler. Planted in 1996 in a former apple orchard, the vineyard quickly developed a reputation for producing world class Pinot Noir grapes featured in award winning wines from some of the finest wineries in Northern California, including Kosta Browne, A.P. VIN and Landmark. In 2004, the Kanzlers launched their own label featuring grapes grown exclusively from their vineyard. Alex Kanzler, the son of Stephen and Lynda, is the current winemaker.

Magenta in color. 14.7% ABV. Stunning nose of red fruits, cloves and fresh mushrooms. Light to medium body with medium acidity. Pretty and elegant. Bing cherries, cranberries, pomegranate and sarsaparilla on the palate. The finish is tremendous. Everything I expect in a Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. Drink over the next 2-3 years.

My rating: 92 points.

The 2014 vintage of Kanzler was recently released via the mailing list at a price of $58. Highly recommended.

If you enjoyed this post please consider subscribing to Zinfandel Chronicles updates by email.

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2010 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – Bottle Notes

Kosta Browne began as a dream shared by Dan Kosta and Michael Browne. In the summer of 1997, while working at John Ash & Co. restaurant in Santa Rosa, California, Dan and Michael decided to pool their tips and venture into winemaking. Fifteen years later, Kosta Browne is one of the most sought after Pinot Noirs in all of California. At present time they produce three appellation Pinot Noirs, eight single vineyard Pinot Noirs and a Chardonnay.

The 2010 Sonoma Coast was sourced from Gap’s Crown, Walala and Terra de Promissio Vineyards.

I decided on a bottle of Kosta Browne to mentally prepare for the mailer which I believe arrives tomorrow. As always, I will buy until it hurts.

Magenta in color. 14.4% ABV. Gorgeous nose of black cherries, cloves and forest floor. Textbook Kosta Browne. Medium to full body with more than enough acidity. Fantastic mouth feel and texture. Cherries, cranberry, pomegranate and mushrooms on the palate. The finish is long and exquisite. Drink over the next 1-2 while you wait on the Single Vineyard Designates.

My rating: 93 points.

The 2015 version will be released next Spring. As I mentioned in the Fab 5 of Mailing Lists, Kosta Browne is one of hardest lists to crack. Maybe so, but you’ve got nothing to lose by putting your name on the waiting list. Good luck!

Kosta Browne fared well in last year’s version of The 2016 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.

If you enjoyed this post please consider subscribing to Zinfandel Chronicles updates by email.

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Pick My Next Bottle – Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

The June Installment of Pick My Next Bottle focuses on Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. As I mentioned in the first installment, the purpose of this series is to provide insight into specific wines or producers you may currently have in your cellar. The winning bottle will be opened this Saturday and a Bottle Note will be published shortly thereafter.

The Sonoma Coast American Viticulture Area includes about 2,000 vineyard acres, and fewer than 10 wineries (not counting wineries that belong to overlapping appellations such as the Russian River Valley). Many of California’s most celebrated Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are grown here. The producers I selected make some of the best wines in the AVA, if not the state.

The Contenders:

2007 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Kanzler Vineyard – Ruby-red. Energetic aromas of black raspberry, blood orange, candied rose and minerals. Vivid, impressively focused red and dark berry flavors are complicated by an exotic floral pastille quality. The silky tannins add support and gentle grip to the long, subtly sweet finish. 93 points from Stephen Tanzer.

2004 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Peay Vineyard –  Good deep ruby-red. Knockout, high-toned nose of black raspberry and minerals. Fully ripe but quite dry, pure and penetrating, with a youthfully aggressive character. The dense flavors of wild brambly berries and bitter chocolate reminded me of a wine on the Nuits-Saint-Georges/Vosne-Romanee border. Finishes with serious tannic spine. Very impressive but in need of some cellaring. May ultimately merit an even higher score. 92 points from Stephen Tanzer.

2006 Rivers-Marie Pinot Noir Old Vines Summa Vineyard – Outstanding. A wonderfully complex nose is highly expressive, offering notes of black cherry and spiced raspberry that lead to equally complex middle weight flavors that possess good detail and a lovely layering effect on the solidly persistent finish. This is not especially dense in the manner of the 2004 and 2005 versions though the extract confers the sense of concentration on the delicious backend. A study in balance and grace. 92 points from Stephen Tanzer.

Which Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir Should I Open?

  • 2006 Rivers-Marie Pinot Noir Old Vines Summa Vineyard (38%, 15 Votes)
  • 2007 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Kanzler Vineyard (36%, 14 Votes)
  • 2004 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Peay Vineyard (26%, 10 Votes)

Total Voters: 39

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Thanks for voting! I’d love to see a comment below on why you picked one bottle over another. Also, please do let me know if you have any suggestions for the July installment of Pick My Next Bottle.

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