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#1 in the Top 100 wines of the year

via Wine Spectator — James Laube
December 30, 2011

"Central to the story of Pinot Noir’s steady rise in California has been the improbable ascent of a small Sonoma winery, started more than a decade ago by two waiters who pooled their tips so they could make wine.

With no formal winemaking training, Dan Kosta and Michael Browne stumbled along a path of trial and error. Their first Pinots weren’t inspiring, but since 2002, they’ve made 66 wines that have earned 90 points or higher—though they don’t own a single vine and make wine in a rented warehouse. In 2009, the greatest vintage yet for California Pinot, the team—which now has the financial backing of Vincraft—made 11 outstanding Pinots, including our Wine of the Year for 2011.

The Sonoma Coast bottling showcases Browne’s meticulous winemaking and the quality of their grape sources. Making a few hundred cases of great Pinot is hard enough; making nearly 6,000 cases is an admirable accomplishment.

KOSTA BROWNE PINOT NOIR SONOMA COAST 2009

95 points / $52
5818 cases made
Sonoma County, California

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Wine Spectator editors review more than 15,000 wines each year in blind tastings. Every issue of Wine Spectator magazine contains from 400 to more than 1,000 wine reviews with detailed tasting notes and analysis. They set stringent standards for themselves and rely on the proven ability and experience of our editors as tasters and critics.