Kosta Browne 2019 spring release thoughts and other

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Kosta Browne 2019 spring release thoughts and other

#1 Post by hstuck »

Hello,
I am new to this group but was hoping to get some thoughts on the upcoming spring release of Kosta Browne 2019 vintage. I do think there are many wines at or below this price point that are as good if not better but was curious if anyone had thoughts on this coming release. I have scaled down my buying in the past couple years due to increasing price point and uncertainty on the wine quality since ownership has changed. I would love to get others opinions here. Thank you!
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Re: Kosta Browne 2019 spring release thoughts and other

#2 Post by Chris Seiber »

Welcome to the board, Heidi.

If you use the search function at the top of the page, you'll find many discussions about Kosta Browne on here. It has a strong following of buyers who love it, but on this board, it's generally unfashionable, as people with more of a Burgundy type reference find them too bold and ripe.

Have you been buying and drinking KB from past vintages? In what range of time? What did you think of them?

I buy a handful of bottles from them every year, probably going back to the mid 2000s or so, and they are quite delicious and scratch a certain itch, even though it's not something I'd want to drink all the time, nor does the pricing really support that kind of plan. The style has evolved a decent amount from the maximum ripeness style that made them a big name in the early 2000s vintages, into more of a medium style pinot with medium alcohol and oak levels, but still tending towards darker fruit profiles.

There are definitely better bargains out there in the world of pinot, though I can't really think of something that is very similar to KB for lower prices.

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Re: Kosta Browne 2019 spring release thoughts and other

#3 Post by hstuck »

Thank you Chris for your response. I did look for other discussions but they seemed older. I was curious specifically on the new vintage but I do understand your point. I think KB has a specific taste and not like other Pinots...being American or otherwise. Certainly different than Burgundy's which I also enjoy. I have enjoyed older vintages ...but liked 2014, 2015 as well. I am asking more for a friend who buys much more than I do. I'm good for 1-2 bottles to keep my allotment going. I like drinking different styles and there are many many wines I love. I more enjoy an old world wine but it's not something I want all of the time. I drink a lot of Italian and French but am thrilled to try new as well! A fun local white from Westport Rivers or a great South African Chenin. I go through stages for sure. I like to find the lesser known beauties! :) Thanks again and I'm eager to follow posts and learn more!

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Re: Kosta Browne 2019 spring release thoughts and other

#4 Post by AndrewH »

In past years, I usually haven't seen tasting notes (whether users or pros) before the appellation releases in the Spring. Usually by the fall there's something out on the SVDs, and the appellations.

So you're really going on (1) do you like KB? and (2) how was the vintage?
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Re: Kosta Browne 2019 spring release thoughts and other

#5 Post by Chris Seiber »

I agree with Andrew, that if you've liked KB enough to buy it in the last several vintages, it's likely about the same equation would apply to 2019. I don't think they tend to have larger vintage variation.

If you haven't looked at their website, they do have information up about the 2019s. KB is one of the very most forthcoming and detailed wineries in putting out information to the public about their wines.

https://www.kostabrowne.com/wine/2021-spring-offering

They give you details about vineyard sources, clones, whole cluster percentage, TA, pH, oak treatment, fermentation, etc. And of course, everyone's favorite number, ABV. Both the Sonoma Coast and RRV check in at 14.1% for 2019, much slimmer than the early 2000s vintages, which sometimes got over 15%.

And then they have the written part about the vintage, harvest and wine.
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Re: Kosta Browne 2019 spring release thoughts and other

#6 Post by Regina Sanz »

Another great place to check out 2019v tasting note details and videos is at www.KBSpring.com

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#7 Post by hstuck »

Thank you all! Yes...does makes sense they won't have any reviews out yet and will just go on tasting notes on the site. Worth ordering a couple bottles. Cheers!

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Re: Kosta Browne 2019 spring release thoughts and other

#8 Post by AndrewH »

$3 increase/bottle from last year. ($75 vs. $72).
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Re: Kosta Browne 2019 spring release thoughts and other

#9 Post by Chris Seiber »

I'm down to about 3-4 bottles of KB a year now. But usually when I open one, we enjoy it.

I've dropped the SVDs entirely -- I was never entirely sure I actually liked those more than the appellation wines, and the pricing is just out of my range now.
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Re: Kosta Browne 2019 spring release thoughts and other

#10 Post by Scott E. »

Chris Seiber wrote: January 26th, 2021, 12:43 pm I'm down to about 3-4 bottles of KB a year now. But usually when I open one, we enjoy it.

I've dropped the SVDs entirely -- I was never entirely sure I actually liked those more than the appellation wines, and the pricing is just out of my range now.
+1 Bought a 6er this year - probably for the last time. It will be sad not to have a KB in the cellar come 2027. Cheers!
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Re: Kosta Browne 2019 spring release thoughts and other

#11 Post by Jason S. »

I'm going to pass this year. Had been buying for about a decade (but appellation only for the past few - with the amount of good+ CA and OR Pinot out there, I can't see paying 1.5-3x for KB SVD). My preferences have shifted a bit and I have >4 cases in the cellar. With the price creeping up and the amount of it available in the secondary market--often at or below current release price--I'm fine to pass.
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Re: Kosta Browne 2019 spring release thoughts and other

#12 Post by Adam Frisch »

Chris, is it just the inevitable pendulum swing from their cult highs now coming back, or has tastes changed? Or wine changed?
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Re: Kosta Browne 2019 spring release thoughts and other

#13 Post by Jmigliano »

Adam Frisch wrote: January 26th, 2021, 10:32 pm Chris, is it just the inevitable pendulum swing from their cult highs now coming back, or has tastes changed? Or wine changed?
I feel the wine has definitely changed over the past 6 years or so. Not as fruit forward, ripe or big. Been buying since 2013 and I may stop completely this year. KB was first mailing list I was ever on so it’s hard to cut the cord with them
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Re: Kosta Browne 2019 spring release thoughts and other

#14 Post by Tom Gutting »

The prices have gotten a bit prohibitive to me. I'd rather drink the AldenAlli for a $20 less a bottle. The wines are still nice, but there's just better value out there for my taste.
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Re: Kosta Browne 2019 spring release thoughts and other

#15 Post by Michael Kane »

hstuck wrote: January 25th, 2021, 10:42 am Hello,
I am new to this group but was hoping to get some thoughts on the upcoming spring release of Kosta Browne 2019 vintage. I do think there are many wines at or below this price point that are as good if not better but was curious if anyone had thoughts on this coming release. I have scaled down my buying in the past couple years due to increasing price point and uncertainty on the wine quality since ownership has changed. I would love to get others opinions here. Thank you!
Heidi Stuck
Good points an agree. Where have you looked otherwise?

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Re: Kosta Browne 2019 spring release thoughts and other

#16 Post by Chris Seiber »

Adam Frisch wrote: January 26th, 2021, 10:32 pm Chris, is it just the inevitable pendulum swing from their cult highs now coming back, or has tastes changed? Or wine changed?
It's hard to say what the reasons are, as the ownership has changed (twice?) at the same time that trends in California pinot have swung away from the biggest/ripest fashion of the early 2000s.

This quote from Michael Browne at the infamous 2011 World of Pinot Noir symposium about "balance" may shed some light on the evolution of KB pinot:
ERIC ASIMOV: I want to get to Michael on the other end of the panel. I kind of want to hear Adam go for it but we need to get to Michael. This is getting good.

MICHAEL BROWNE: We started making wine in 1997 and we knew nothing. I really fell in love with wine and fell in love with making it. I had no background in it, didn't got to school. How you made a pick decision -- the most important decision you make as a winemaker? I had no idea in the early days... how did you do that when you knew nothing? I didn't know, so I went with flavors. What is ripe? What is flavor? I just tasted the grapes and when they tasted good, I picked. I didn't know what the brix was.

ERIC ASIMOV: What led you to Pinot in particular?

MICHAEL BROWNE: I had an epiphany one night tasting a 1992 Allen Vineyard Pinot from Williams Selyem. It blew my head off. I was instantly turned on to Pinot Noir. It was the best wine I'd ever had. This was in the early 90s to mid 90s. At the time I wasn't turned on to Pinot and that wine was fantastic and it made me want to go for it, and when I started making wine I was trying to make that.

I thought I'd be a craftsman, that making wine would be a challenge. The challenges were like a tidal wave. I have the least experience and knowledge about winemaking of anyone at this table. At the beginning I was most interested in what the fruit tasted like. There were sugar levels and acid levels, etc. but I really just cared about the taste. Very early on I let things hang too long. It wasn't by design. It's just what happened. We just made them and hoped for the best. Those wines are out of balance. They're good, but they're out of balance. Since that point we've dialed it back a little. Not like going from 16% to 13%, but the alcohols have come down. For the last 10-12 years I've been trying to dial in that ripeness. I like wines in the mid 14s. If it's a wine that has good fruit, good tannin, that amount of alcohol adds something to the wine, it's a benefit.
I guess if you continue to extrapolate from those 2011 comments on to today, as the alcohols have migrated down to around 14%, it makes some sense.

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Re: Kosta Browne 2019 spring release thoughts and other

#17 Post by AndrewH »

Tom Gutting wrote: February 2nd, 2021, 9:12 am The prices have gotten a bit prohibitive to me. I'd rather drink the AldenAlli for a $20 less a bottle. The wines are still nice, but there's just better value out there for my taste.
$30 less now - just got offer for AA with its 2017 Pinot Noir at $48.

But that raises the question - why are they (AA) still selling the 2017? I bought that in late 2019, and was reoffered it this past Spring. Did they not produce in 2018 or 2019?
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Re: Kosta Browne 2019 spring release thoughts and other

#18 Post by Tom Gutting »

AndrewH wrote: February 2nd, 2021, 9:47 am
Tom Gutting wrote: February 2nd, 2021, 9:12 am The prices have gotten a bit prohibitive to me. I'd rather drink the AldenAlli for a $20 less a bottle. The wines are still nice, but there's just better value out there for my taste.
$30 less now - just got offer for AA with its 2017 Pinot Noir at $48.

But that raises the question - why are they (AA) still selling the 2017? I bought that in late 2019, and was reoffered it this past Spring. Did they not produce in 2018 or 2019?
Good question. I saw the same. Honestly? Not sure. The 2016 showed up on Last Bottle several weeks ago, too.
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Re: Kosta Browne 2019 spring release thoughts and other

#19 Post by Tom Lee »

AndrewH wrote: February 2nd, 2021, 9:47 am
Tom Gutting wrote: February 2nd, 2021, 9:12 am The prices have gotten a bit prohibitive to me. I'd rather drink the AldenAlli for a $20 less a bottle. The wines are still nice, but there's just better value out there for my taste.
$30 less now - just got offer for AA with its 2017 Pinot Noir at $48.

But that raises the question - why are they (AA) still selling the 2017? I bought that in late 2019, and was reoffered it this past Spring. Did they not produce in 2018 or 2019?
I bought the 17 AldenAlli in late 2019. Was surprised to see it offered again on their mailer this week. I actually emailed the winery to see what's up. I'll post here if they respond back. Oh and BTW I bought from the KB offering. 2 bottles each of RRV, SC and Sta. Rita Hills.

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#20 Post by AndrewH »

Tom Lee wrote: February 5th, 2021, 8:39 am
I bought the 17 AldenAlli in late 2019. Was surprised to see it offered again on their mailer this week. I actually emailed the winery to see what's up. I'll post here if they respond back. Oh and BTW I bought from the KB offering. 2 bottles each of RRV, SC and Sta. Rita Hills.

Tom
I commented/asked on one of their Instagram posts and their response was to look for the 2018 PN this Fall.
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Re: Kosta Browne 2019 spring release thoughts and other

#21 Post by Tom Lee »

AndrewH wrote: February 22nd, 2021, 10:47 am
Tom Lee wrote: February 5th, 2021, 8:39 am
I bought the 17 AldenAlli in late 2019. Was surprised to see it offered again on their mailer this week. I actually emailed the winery to see what's up. I'll post here if they respond back. Oh and BTW I bought from the KB offering. 2 bottles each of RRV, SC and Sta. Rita Hills.

Tom
I commented/asked on one of their Instagram posts and their response was to look for the 2018 PN this Fall.
So 2 years between releases. Odd. I wonder what the impetus was?

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Re: Kosta Browne 2019 spring release thoughts and other

#22 Post by Chris Seiber »

Tom Lee wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 1:44 pm
AndrewH wrote: February 22nd, 2021, 10:47 am
Tom Lee wrote: February 5th, 2021, 8:39 am
I bought the 17 AldenAlli in late 2019. Was surprised to see it offered again on their mailer this week. I actually emailed the winery to see what's up. I'll post here if they respond back. Oh and BTW I bought from the KB offering. 2 bottles each of RRV, SC and Sta. Rita Hills.

Tom
I commented/asked on one of their Instagram posts and their response was to look for the 2018 PN this Fall.
So 2 years between releases. Odd. I wonder what the impetus was?

Tom
I don't entirely follow the stuff farther up in the quotations, but there wasn't two years between releases. They released the appellation wines 2019 in January, the 2018s a year earlier.

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Re: Kosta Browne 2019 spring release thoughts and other

#23 Post by AndrewH »

Sorry, Chris, we got sidetracked onto AldenAlli.

AA released its 2017 PN in the fall of 2019, and then reoffered it in the Spring of 2020 and again this past month.

My guess is that AldenAlli didn't sell through its 2017 because of the pandemic and is trying to clear that out before selling 2018.

Kosta Browne has been consistent in selling each year wines from 2 years prior, with the exception of the Estate Series wines, which seem to be 3 years later (at least sometimes).
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#24 Post by Tom Lee »

Chris Seiber wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 1:46 pm
Tom Lee wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 1:44 pm
AndrewH wrote: February 22nd, 2021, 10:47 am

I commented/asked on one of their Instagram posts and their response was to look for the 2018 PN this Fall.
So 2 years between releases. Odd. I wonder what the impetus was?

Tom
I don't entirely follow the stuff farther up in the quotations, but there wasn't two years between releases. They released the appellation wines 2019 in January, the 2018s a year earlier.
I bought the 2017 from the winery in August of 2019 on their fall release email. They have yet to release the 2018. If what Andrew says is accurate then there will be two years between releases.

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#25 Post by Tom Lee »

Tom Lee wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 2:28 pm
Chris Seiber wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 1:46 pm
Tom Lee wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 1:44 pm

So 2 years between releases. Odd. I wonder what the impetus was?

Tom
I don't entirely follow the stuff farther up in the quotations, but there wasn't two years between releases. They released the appellation wines 2019 in January, the 2018s a year earlier.
I bought the 2017 Sonoma Coast from the winery in August of 2019 on their fall release email. They have yet to release the 2018 Sonoma Coast. If what Andrew says is accurate then there will be two years between releases.

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Re: Kosta Browne 2019 spring release thoughts and other

#26 Post by Gabe Berk »

AndrewH wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 2:07 pm

AA released its 2017 PN in the fall of 2019, and then reoffered it in the Spring of 2020 and again this past month.

My guess is that AldenAlli didn't sell through its 2017 because of the pandemic and is trying to clear that out before selling 2018.
Bingo! Newer brand + COVID can be brutal.

$75 for Appellation series Pinot seems steep, but they sell out every year-kudos to them. Lucia Appellation wine is $45 (Pisoni, Gary's, Rosella's, Soberanes vineyards). Siduri is $35 for their Sonoma Coast, Russian River and Santa Lucia Appellation wines. Calera is $25 for their Appellation wine. Would be interesting to line them all up and see who the favorite is?

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