Kosta Browne Russian River Pinot Noir 2012
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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.
While the Russian River Valley is a large appellation with multiple climate zones and soil types, it is best known for cool-climate varieties, with Pinot Noir as the most celebrated. The grapes benefit from a reliable late afternoon flow of Pacific Ocean fog through the Petaluma Gap and along the Russian River Valley that ensures slow and steady ripening and the preservation of grape acidity. Today many of California’s most highly regarded Pinot Noir vineyards are in the Russian River Valley, along with its sub-appellation, Green Valley.
Historically Russian River Valley Pinot Noirs had bright red fruit and delicate earthy, mineral notes. But changes in viticultural and winemaking practices have led to stylistic changes in some of the region’s wines. Adjustments to canopy management, among other techniques, have resulted in riper fruit and bolder wines as well. These show flavors of black cherry, blackberry, cola, spice and darker, loamy earth tones, accenting traditional Pinot Noir notes of strawberry, raspberry and light cherry.