Kosta Browne Rosella's Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
There are three single vineyards from the Santa Lucia Highlands. Looking first at the 2018 Pinot Noir Rosella’s Vineyard, it was mostly destemmed and brought up in 23% new barrels. Lifted notes of candied cherry and strawberry fruits, violets, spice, and sandalwood give way to a pure, focused Pinot Noir that has the freshness and vibrancy that always seems to be imparted by this site. It has a tighter, more backward style that will benefit from a year or three of bottle age.
An inviting nose of dried flowers, red berries and eucalyptus. Full-bodied and steady-handed in its intensity. Silky, fine tannins and lots of juicy character. There’s a background, savory note of earth. Jasmine comes through as well. Lovely. Drink or hold.
Kosta Browne was destined to expand to the Santa Lucia Highlands, a place known for the brawny pinot style the brand favors. This one is dark, hinting at licorice and tar, the plum flavors reflecting the skin-thickening gusts of Pacific wind, and a sweet-bitter tannic note that keeps this otherwise burly wine on point. Pour for something smoky, like short ribs off the grill
Founded in 1997, Kosta Browne is one of North America’s most revered wineries, recognized for making some of the world’s finest Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. Located in Sebastopol, Sonoma County, and guided by an acclaimed team that includes renowned Winemaker Julien Howsepian, Kosta Browne makes appellation and single-vineyard wines from the most coveted cool-climate vineyards across the Russian River Valley, Sonoma Coast, Anderson Valley, Sta. Rita Hills and Santa Lucia Highlands appellations. In addition to partnering with the finest growers in California, Kosta Browne has an estate program that features 170 acres of vineyards through ownership or long-term leases that includes the Cerise Vineyard in Anderson Valley, Keefer Vineyard in the Russian River Valley, and a prized section of the Gap’s Crown Vineyard on the Sonoma Coast. Kosta Browne has earned a place on Wine Spectator’s annual list of the world’s “Top 100 Wines” seven times since 2005, including “Wine of the Year” in 2011.
Perhaps the most highly regarded appellation within Monterey County, Santa Lucia Highlands AVA benefits from a combination of warm morning sunshine and brisk afternoon breezes, allowing grapes to ripen slowly and fully. The result is concentrated, flavorful wines that retain their natural acidity. Wineries here do not shy away from innovation, and place a high priority on sustainable viticultural practices.
The climatic conditions here are perfectly suited to the production of ripe, rich Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. These Burgundian varieties dominate an overwhelming percentage of plantings, though growers have also found success with Syrah, Riesling and Pinot Gris.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”