TN: 2005 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

A friend used to be on the list.
He found some buried in his cellar.
He opened one last night and made me drink it.
Some friend.

  • 2005 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (2/15/2015)
    I don’t drink this style of wine, or even pay attention to CA pinot really anymore…That being said…Ack. Not my cup of tea. Robitussen, flat cherry coke, and Kool Aid (pun intended). Served blind, one might guess, “wine?” 15% alc, brah! Not for me…

Posted from CellarTracker

Dennis, those of us around here who know your palate and what thrills you, did you have any expectation that the outcome here would be different? I mean, mid-decade KB, against a palate and what you prefer.

I’d thank your friend as he simply affirmed your own confidence in what you know you like and pursue.

I was gifted a bottle of the 2011 SC recently. Had about the same impression as you.

True enough, Frank.
Though, you paint it as a palate preference issue, and I’m not sure that’s the case.
If so, wow. Does still have a 91.5 CT avg score.

Dennis, at the time I really enjoyed that wine, in fact many of the KBs of that era. I thought the 2005 Koplen was magic. However, my palate fell off a cliff and landed somewhere else since that time. As to that score, uh boy, we can start yet another thread about scores, validity, the force of the critic (in this case, James Laube), and on and on. For the style that wine is made in, putting all the other noise about the nature of the score aside, there are many people who continue to buy and enjoy KB. That we cannot argue.

Totally agree.

I have both this and the 2006 and keep looking at it in my cellar. Haven’t been brave enough to pull one.

This may be a candidate for gifting.

Steve, I wonder with great curiosity as to why people continue to age the older KB wines. To have wines from 2003-2005 in their cellars still, even the 2006s, I think people will open these older bottles one day and then question why they hung onto them. This has nothing to do with palate preferences like Dennis and I were first discussing, but instead how the wines will handle the higher ripeness component and alcohols, to age in balance.

Yup. These were delicious shortly after release, but they simply do not age.

I thought about this as I posted that note.
Perhaps my note is unfair as the wines were never meant to age.
That wasn’t the intention for this bottle.

Have the newer vintages changed significantly in style? I was assuming these are still made for early consumption.

They have changed since around 2007. Alcohols are now mostly 14.2 to 14.7, and acids are higher. They’re still on the bigger side and probably better in their early years than as they get older, but they’re not nearly as extreme as in 03-06. Michael Browne has said as much.

Sea Smoke has had a similar change at around the same time, though they weren’t as big as KB to begin with. I think producers saw how big they could push Pinot, and the style was popular at first, but now some are trying to dial back to medium or medium-plus.

I purchased the 2006 SC and RRV from a friend I met on a different board who generously shared his allocation with me. Considering the KB hype at the time, this was a very exciting purchase for me. And they didn’t disappoint, at least for where my palate was back then.

However, in retrospectively looking at my TNs from 2008-2010 it’s interesting for me to read the following:

Touch of heat on the finish does detract.

I would opt for drinking this and the Sonoma Coast bottling over the short to mid-term, no reason to cellar when they could potentially start to lose the freshness of fruit that makes them so enjoyable.

All-in-all, it’s a tough glass of Pinot to assess and if based on aromatics alone would rate higher in my book…IMHO, this wine should be consumed in the short to mid-term (along with many other '06 Pinots)…no need for the fruit to diminish.

…seemed to be marred by heat from alcohol…Very much a crowd pleasing style…A better showing than anticipated

If anything though I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to have drunk these when my palate was more appreciative (and forgiving) of the style and, in retrospect, clearly they also helped to guide more towards what I truly wanted from Pinot.

I didn’t set out to age them. I tried one or two soon after release and thought them “huge”. So, I thought they might improve with age. Stopped buying at that point.

Guess I was wrong.