I’m always excited when I open a Kosta Browne pinot noir. They were the first premium or collectible California pinots I fell for, and over the past six years or so I've enjoyed tasting their pinots from many vineyards and vintages. They’re pricey, obviously, and have gotten more and more expensive over time, so it’s not like I can afford them all that often. But for special occasions, Kosta Browne pinot is always a good choice.
|KB PN: I know it's pricey, but it's a beautiful thing.|
The second anniversary of my first date with my girlfriend, Valerie, was just such an event, so I opened a 2007 Kosta Browne Amber Ridge Vineyard pinot noir from Sonoma's Russian River Valley appellation. On our first anniversary I opened a bottle of 2008 Belle Glos Taylor Lane Vineyard pinot noir from the Sonoma Coast, so I guess Sonoma pinot noir is becoming our anniversary tradition. And that's fine by me!
The Kosta Browne wine has that dark purple color that reminds me more of syrah than pinot noir, a color that usually elicits "That doesn't look like pinot!" from purists, and there's some truth to that. The aromas are very compact and hesitant upon opening, so I threw this in the decanter and let it sit for several hours as I cooked up some herb-crusted beef shoulder and roasted potatoes. Over time the wine starts showing some black cherry and brown sugar aromas, but even after four hours in the decanter, the aromas still feel restrained.
On the palate, the 2007 Amber Ridge pinot noir is very fresh, but full of compact cranberry and cherry fruit. This shows much more red fruit than some other Kosta Browne vineyards that have more of a gushing blackberry flavor, and I think I like this flavor profile more. There’s some mocha and toast mixed in here as well, but it’s very well-integrated. With air a lovely plum flavor comes out and just coats the palate. There’s also this classic Kosta Browne flavor of cherry cola. The tannins are firm and provide serious structure. Over time the fruit expressed more and more, growing in concentration and purity. The finish is consistently long and delicious. This bottle showed very well, but if I had any more I’d put them down for two or three more years at least.
Most importantly, Valerie loved it.
92 points IJB