May 30, 2006
For the second vintage straight, Kosta Browne has run the table. All six of its 2004 Sonoma Pinot Noirs earned outstanding marks. Five were simply extraordinary, with ratings at 95 points or higher. One, the Kanzler Vineyard bottling, earned a 98-point rating, putting it in the kind of rarified air of the ultra-elite. They are able to create, through careful vineyard choices and precision farming (or farming management) and winemaking, deliciously rich and compelling wines. At times, the strength of each vineyard's personality shines through, as it does with Kanzler, Cohn, Koplen andAmber Ridge. Often just as compelling are the broader appellation wines, from both RussianRiver Valley and Sonoma Coast.I'm also starting to believe, thanks to them and many others (Loring, Marcassin, Patz & Hall) that we have entered a new era for California Pinot Noir.
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