Kosta Browne Russian River Pinot Noir 2017
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The 2017 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley comes from a multitude of sites and spent 17 months in 45% new French oak. It's slightly more reticent than the Sonoma Coast and offers more raspberry, ripe cherries, cola, mulled spiced, and earth. Rounded, beautifully textured, and medium to full-bodied, it has a supple, seamless style that's already a joy to drink. Nevertheless, I suspect it will keep for upwards of a decade.
Aged 17 months in 45% new French oak, the pale to medium ruby colored 2017 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley opens with broody aromas of spiced cranberry sauce, crushed black cherries, loam, cumin seeds, dried leaves and a classy framing of new oak spice with notions of orange peel and amaro. It's medium-bodied and silky, offering plush, ripe fruits in the mouth, with a grainy frame and mouthwatering freshness, finishing very long. This is a tick up in complexity from the 2016 version. "We had all our fruit in the week before the fires started, and we were able to get into the winery and everything was fine," says assistant winemaker Julien Howsepian. 8,500 cases produced.
A standout region for its decidedly Californian take on Burgundian varieties, the Russian River Valley is named for the eponymous river that flows through it. While there are warm pockets of the AVA, it is mostly a cool-climate growing region thanks to breezes and fog from the nearby Pacific Ocean.
Chardonnay and Pinot Noir reign supreme in Russian River, with the best examples demonstrating a unique combination of richness and restraint. The cool weather makes Russian River an ideal AVA for sparkling wine production, utilizing the aforementioned varieties. Zinfandel also performs exceptionally well here. Within the Russian River Valley lie the smaller appellations of Chalk Hill and Green Valley. The former, farther from the ocean, is relatively warm, with a focus on red and white Bordeaux varieties. The latter is the coolest, foggiest parcel of the Russian River Valley and is responsible for outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.