Saturday, January 2, 2010

Kosta Browne Pinot Noir

I must admit I sometimes succumb to the allurement of cult wines. In the first instance, it is the challenge to get them, because they are always rare. They don't normally disappoint entirely. It is a bonus, if they are really good.

One such wine is currently the Pinot Noir from Kosta Browne. I put myself on the waitlist for the mailing list some three years ago and got lucky to receive an allocation of some 2007 Pinot Noir last year (I think the GFC helped). The other piece of luck was that 2007 was an outstanding Pinot Noir vintage in California.

Yesterday, I had my first bottle of the 2007 Kosta Browne Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. This is one of the two 'standard' wines. It was judged the 4th best wine of 2009 by Wine Spectator.

The wine opens with a very big and strong bouquet. The fruit flavours are predominantly red cherry, but also raspberry and apricot. There is a lot of complexity here. In addition to the full fruit flavours, there is a lot of spice, in particular pepper and cinnamon, also incence. The wine is not sweet, it has strong, but not coarse tannins. The wine has great length and quite a fan, as you would expect from good Pinot Noir.

This is an excellent wine. It has some 'full on' characteristics, as you would expect from premium California wine, but there is a lot of subtlety there as well. The wine is varietal, but definitely different from Australian Pinot Noir, in particular in relation to mouthfeel and length. I thoroughly enjoyed this drink, but I will put the other bottles away for a little while, as the wine should further improve with bottle age.

Score: 96/++

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