Kosta Browne Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2018
Alluring notes of blackberry, blueberry, and rich raspberry. Bold entry, followed by great tension, focus, a malleable structure, and a long finish.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Brought up mostly in French oak, with a small amount in concrete, the 2018 Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast has that classic Sonoma Coast pretty red fruit-driven style as well as subtle white flower, spice, and even a kiss of minerality. It's beautifully balanced and medium-bodied, with an elegant, ethereal style that still has solid structure. It will drink well for a decade.
Coming about 30% to 40% from Gap's Crown this vintage, the 2018 Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast has very pretty, sweet berry fruits—strawberries, raspberries, rhubarb—with accents of tea leaves, dried flowers and fragrant earth. The medium-bodied palate has a great dichotomy of classic Pinot Noir fruit and amaro-like bitterness, juicy, soft and sexy with a long, spicy finish. Lovely!
A blend from six vineyards clustered around the Pet-aluma Gap, as well as north and west to the far coast, this 2018 is one of the more graceful and delicate pinots in Kosta Browne’s stable. It feels brisk and airy, the wine’s high-toned mineral acidity encouraging the pretty floral fragrance and lifting the sandstone detail out of the tannins. Panelist Jamal Rayyis appre-ciated the mix of cherry and berry flavors and their brightness: “You can taste light,” he said.
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.
The Sonoma Coast AVA is large in area but, not counting overlapping regions like Russian River Valley, only has a few thousand acres of grapevines—and it’s no wonder. Much of the region is rugged and not easily accessible. Its proximity to the Pacific Ocean’s fog and cool breezes limits the varieties that can be cultivated, but it proves to be an ideal environment for high quality Pinot Noir.
Since fog is a frequent fact of life here, as are heavy marine layers that sometimes bring rain, the best vineyards are wisely planted above the fog line, on picturesque ridges that capture enough sun to provide even ripening. That, with the overnight drop in temperature that reliably preserves acidity, results in fine expressions of Pinot Noir that often receive tremendous critic and consumer praise alike, and are often in high demand.