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Saturday, May 03, 2008

KB’s back, baby!

Well, I’m sure plenty of you are asking ‘back…from what, where’d they go?’ Well I personally was a huge fan their breakout ’03-’04 blockbusters and found the ’05 vintage to be quite a departure from the fore-mentioned years in terms of opulence and excitement. Don’t get me wrong, the ‘05s were solid, and some of which I thought were outstanding, but I found that the vintage overall didn’t deliver the ‘this is what I’m talking about’ experience I had come to expect from Kosta Browne. While tasting through them last year, I distinctly remember wanting more, craving those chills the ‘03s and ‘04s sent down my spine as if they were gateway drugs. A couple quick scents of their ’06 Sonoma Coast brought back the same visceral reaction that I missed through the speed-bump hiatus that was ’05.

When they strike it right, I find the wines unique in their ability to pull off the ‘Pinot on steroids’ stereotype as they shout out their aromas through a megaphone but then reel them into supreme focus in the palate, as all the intensity of fruit beams along effortlessly. No wimpy wines, no concern over alcohol content and nothing but varietal purity…just at a more thrilling, pleasure-induced volume.

Kosta Browne Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, 2006
Aromatically intense and opulent, w/ a flutter of licorice, black raspberries, smoked pork, tree bark, cocoa, thyme and dark cherry liqueur notes intensely filling the room. The palate is laced w/ sweet, crushed berry fruit that drips in sap but is not short on lithe precision. A beautiful combination of muscle and weightless finesse creates a performance that nets the most compelling KB I’ve tasted since the knockout ‘04s. What a spectacular effort for an appellation-level bottling, 95 points.

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