What is the Difference Between Merlot and Pinot Noir?
Forbes [January, 2024]
These two popular red wines are far from interchangeable – here’s how to know which one to order.
“Julien Howsepian, the winemaker for Kosta Browne, believes that for consumers, ‘Pinot is the most exciting variety to explore…Pinots across the world are vastly different from each other, and I find that mysterious and charming at the same time.’ He continues: ‘I revel in the thought that Pinot alone can offer a lifetime of exploration through regional discoveries, to vineyard-specific expressions, to producer peculiarities. You can dive as deep as you want with Pinot, which I don’t think any other varieties offer.’”
Top 100 Wines of the USA 2023
James Suckling [December, 2023]
#48 with a 98 Rating for 2021 Kosta Browne El Diablo Russian River Valley Chardonnay
“Of the “really beautiful” 2021 Kosta Browne Russian River Valley Chardonnay El Diablo, James wrote that it “finishes with such greatness and flavor that you say to yourself ‘what…?’”
Top 100 Cellar Selections 2023
Wine Enthusiast [October, 2023]
#44 with a 95 Rating
“It would have been easy to compile a list of the world’s most collectible wines from those that our pro reviewers blind-tasted in the past 12 months: Simply pick the wines known to bring the highest prices. But we thought that, post-pandemic and weighed down by inflation, Wine Enthusiast readers deserve a different tack for the Top 100 Cellar Selections.”
At the Healdsburg Wine & Food Experience – California Pinot Noir takes on Burgundy
Decanter [June, 2023]
“Thousands of wine enthusiasts descended upon Healdsburg, California, for the second annual international wine and food festival featuring over 200 wine producers, mostly from California. Serious wine aficionados attended educational seminars, including two focused events hosted by Kosta Browne winery.”
2012 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Keefer Vineyard – Bottle Notes
Zinfandel Chronicles [May, 2023]
My rating: 95 points.
“Crimson in color. 14.6% ABV. Pretty nose of red fruits, flowers and baking spices. Light to medium body with exquisite acidity. Charm and elegance in spades. Cherry, cranberry, strawberry and earth on the palate. Tremendous length on the finish. Breathtaking Pinot Noir that could not have been more delightful on a warm Spring night in Seattle. Best over the next several years.”
Wine of the week: Chev, 2020 Pinot Noir, Santa Rita Hills
The Press Democrat [May, 2023]
This week’s pick is a drop-dead-gorgeous pinot noir that stands out for a generous, tangy high-toned fruit and lush texture.
“Kosta and Browne created their label with one barrel of pinot noir. To finance their enterprise, they pooled their tips from working at Santa Rosa’s John Ash Restaurant, where Kosta was wine director. Eventually, after selling their namesake brand to Napa Valley’s Duckhorn Vineyards in 2018, they moved on.”
Record-breaking sales at Sonoma County wine auction
Sonoma County Gazette [May, 2023]
“… Other notable sales included “The Pick of the Bunch”, a 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon Blend from Silver Oak that sold for $45,000, and “The Duel”, a 2022 Pinot Noir from Kosta Browne, that went for $22,000. For white wine lovers, a 2022 Chardonnay named “Chardonnay Legends” from Rombauer Vineyards stood out, with a selling price of $19,000.”
45 American Pinot Noirs We Love to Open on Special Occasions
Forbes [April, 2023]
From the Russian River Valley to Willamette, these Pinots are ready to party.
“The single-vineyard offerings from Kosta Brown are justifiably clamored for, and this particular one is a fantastic example of why. It’s a precise Pinot in which darker plum and wild berry notes mingle with aniseed, toasted vanilla pod, and tobacco, as well as flashes of bergamot, hoisin sauce, and Chinese five-spice powder. It’s silky in texture, making it great right now, but structured enough to stand the test of another decade-plus with ease.”
Just Getting Into Wine? These Are the Best Wines to Get You Started
Forbes [June, 2022]
Drizly’s fourth annual Consumer Trend Report reveals Gen Z’s blossoming appreciation for wine—which comes as no surprise.
Kosta Browne Appellation Series of Wines—This collection of world-class wines is made from a range of top sites for cultivating Pinot Noir in California. Each one delivers a delicious window into the differences of terroir and climate.
2020 Kosta Browne Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir – 93 Points
Wine Spectator [June, 2022]
Outstanding; a wine of superior character and style
“A lush, ripe style, with creamed plum and raspberry puree gliding through easily, flanked by lightly singed anise and mesquite. Shows a suave brushstroke of black tea on the finish. For the fruit bomb crowd. Drink now through 2029.”
Wine Spectator’s Insider Weekly
Wine Spectator [May, 2022]
A First Look at Our Editors’ Most Exciting New Wines
2020 Kosta Browne Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir – 93 Points: Outstanding; a wine of superior character and style.
After Acclaimed Pinots and Chardonnays, Sonoma’s Kosta Browne Sets Its Sights on Burgundy
Robb Report [April, 2022]
“The vintner will release five 2020 Burgundies to its members.”
This June, Kosta Browne, maker of bar-setting Pinots and Chards from an exciting cross section of California’s great sites, will release five 2020 Burgundies to its members.
13 New Chardonnays Perfect for Sipping in Winter
Robb Report [January, 2022]
“California’s top takes on this ever-popular wine are among the best whites you can put on the table this season.”
Kosta Browne 2018 Bootlegger’s Hill, Russian River Valley, Chardonnay
In a slight detour from the conventional path, to amplify this wine’s pure fruit and energy, after barrel fermentation and 17 months in French oak (45 percent new), Kosta Browne winemaker Julien Howsepian puts it into stainless steel for four months before bottling it. On the lovely nose, baked quince is layered with jasmine, Meyer lemon and hints of stone fruit. Bright citrus pops on the palate, joining white nectarine in a rich but vibrant package with a distinct vein of savory minerality. This is one gorgeous wine.
TOP 100 WINES OF THE USA 2021
James Suckling [December, 2021]
“Over the last 12 months we rated more than 4,500 American wines across six states on the Eastern Seaboard and West Coast, covering multiple regions and countless terroirs. They all confirmed one thing: modern U.S. wines have never shown better, coast to coast.”
Kosta Browne 2018 El Diablo Vineyard Chardonnay, 97 pts
A delightful nose of yellow grapefruit, jasmine and sweet chamomile. Full-bodied with racy acidity and mineral character. Bright and rounded fruit with sweet herbs and white flowers. So lovely and layered with fine precision and balance. Fresh, exciting and totally delicious. Superb. Drink or hold.
Duckhorn Portfolio: the billion-dollar empire
Decanter [October, 2021]
On the flip side, Kosta Browne already had cult status, with most wines sold direct to consumers and a long wait to get on the mailing list. ‘We are honoured to be stewards of this pre-eminent Pinot Noir house,’ says Bernardi. Prior to the pandemic, Kosta Browne initiated a series of events called Pinot Talks, which featured panels of Master Sommeliers and Masters of Wine among others debating global styles of Pinot and where future trends are heading.
9 Stellar New Pinot Noirs to Drink This Fall
Robb Report [September, 2021]
Part of Kosta Browne’s Appellation Series (which covers California with other fascinating Pinots—from Anderson Valley, Russian River Valley, Santa Lucia Highlands and Sta. Rita Hills), this Sonoma Coast version reveals all of the complexity, structure and savory notes the far-west edge of Sonoma County is capable of. Coastal botanicals, bay leaf, crushed rock, black tea and a briny character (picture a fresh breeze over tidepools) open under dark berry aromas. The palate has weight and gravitas, delivering red and blue fruit and hints of sweet baking spices with lovely tension in the mouth.
Ten Perfect Pinot Noirs To Try Now
Forbes [August, 2021]
Pinot Noir is a wine varietal that plays well with others, whether it’s paired with food or enjoyed on its own. The silky-soft tannins and high-toned fruit profile of pinot are appealing to most wine drinkers. It is one of the world’s oldest grape varieties (besting Cabernet Sauvignon by almost 1,000 years) and it’s a legendary diva in the vineyard. Growing pinot noir has been known to bring some winemaking professionals to tears. Yet, the bright elegance and delicate power of these wines is worth the effort to cultivate and the cost to buy. Round up some friends, grill some salmon, and open one of these bottles tonight.
Kosta Browne Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, 2019: Ripe with a density of red-blue fruit that reflects the signature style of this this award-winning winery. The palate and mouthfeel show plushness and richness complimented by core of power and silky tannins.
Experience California Wine Country in Style
at These 9 Effortlessly Luxurious Vineyards
Departures Magazine [March, 2021]
California wine country has been busy at work coming up with creative ways to showcase their most profound offerings. The paradigm shift in opportunities to taste wine over the last year, despite the pandemic, far from faltered—it seemed to multiply almost tenfold. And the alternative ways to visit Napa virtually—with wine country just a click away—are likely here to stay. And how could you argue with having top-flight $125-a-bottle cabernet shipped directly to your front door for a private, or semi-private virtual tasting with the winery owner, and often, the highly regarded winemaker? However, as oenophiles return to the best tasting rooms in California, we’ve hand-picked nine of the most luxurious wine tasting experiences around California. These wineries are sensitive to continued mask mandates and guest preferences for indoor versus outdoor tastings. It’s best to pick up the phone when booking any of these tasting opportunities to hash out the conversation in real-time about what to expect and how to have the time of your life—safely, and come on, extravagantly.
THE SOMM JOURNAL [Feb/March, 2020: Pgs. 47-49]
“Transformative Talks: Exploring the intersection of Californian and Burgundian pinot noir, Kosta Browne takes its seminars on the road.”
Pinot Talks is an international seminar series that explores Pinot Noir through the lens of California and Burgundy. Each event includes a blind tasting of both California and Burgundian Pinot Noirs with a distinguished panel of Master Sommeliers, Masters of Wine, Winemakers, and Wine Writers. The goal is to explore the similarities and differences in the wines from each location, with a focus on quality, winemaking and the modern challenges of each region. Our hope is that after each event, the audience will walk away from this experience enlightened, perhaps surprised and enthusiastic to continue the dialogue of California Pinot Noir among the industry at large.
Learn more about PINOT TALKS ›
KB Kitchen Series
THE SOMM JOURNAL [Aug/Sept, 2020: Pgs. 50-52]
“Dishing Up Creativity: Kosta Browne’s new digital series with Top Chef contestants gives homebound foodies something to salivate about.”
At Kosta Browne, we have long been connected to the culinary world, from our founders meeting in a restaurant, to hosting the best chefs from across the country cooking in our kitchen at the winery. In this special video series, The KB Kitchen Series with Top Chefs, we are partnering with our favorite celebrity chefs to bring their culinary talents into your home. Each week this series will feature a former chef contestant from the television show “Bravo’s Top Chef,” who will be preparing a custom dish and recipe paired with our wines.
Learn more about KB KITCHEN SERIES ›.
KB x Top Chef Collaboration Events (Part 1)
ASPEN – THE TASTING PANEL MAGAZINE [October 2019, Pgs. 66-67]
“Views From the Top: Making the rounds at the 2019 Food & Wine Classic in Aspen.”
Kosta Browne Peak Party Event at Aspen Food Wine Classic (June 2019): Guests invited to ride a 9000-foot chairlift to the top of Buttermilk Mountain in Aspen to enjoy sustainable bites prepared by Top Chefs alongside KB wines.
Learn more about KB X TOP CHEF PEAK PARTY ›.
KB x Top Chef Collaboration Events (Part 2)
REUNION: WINE SPECTATOR [Nov 2019, Online]
“Top Chef’ Alums Reunite for Kosta Browne Cook-Off.”
Top Chef Reunion Dinner at Kosta Browne Winery (Nov 2019): Six Top Chefs collaborated in the KB Kitchen to cook a memorable, 6-course meal of all locally sourced ingredients and perfectly paired KB library wines.
Learn more about KB X TOP CHEF REUNION DINNER ›.
Shore to Shore Film
Film Debuted at SXSW Film and Arts Festival in Partnership with Chef Andrew Zimmern – Aquaculture: Using Popular Media to Save Wild Salmon [March 2019]
Our Kosta Browne winemaker and the Hawaiian Chef of the Year set out on a journey from the Sonoma Coast to the Maui shore to capture a sense of place through their wine and food. “Shore to Shore” is the mini-documentary that follows these craftsmen to their respective backyards, highlighting how each draws immense inspiration through community, stewardship of the land, and their drive to push boundaries.
Learn more about SHORE TO SHORE ›.
“Experience California Wine Country in Style at These 9 Effortlessly Luxurious Vineyards” [March 2021]
A visit to Kosta Browne will result in two immediately beautiful surprises. First, you’ll wonder aloud how you never knew that the iconic cult label was produced in a building in plain sight at The Barlow, a game-changing outdoor mecca of food, wine, spirits, and craft stores in Sebastopol, California. The second is that once you’re quietly ushered into the serenely peaceful and immaculate greeting space that Kosta Browne has painstakingly designed, you’ll be handed a glass of seriously profound Champagne. Champagne in California wine country? That’s just the beginning of the “Observations Series” tasting experience.
RUE DAILY [March 2019]
“A New Look For Wine Country At Kosta Browne’s Tasting Gallery”
A collaboration between Wade Design Architects and Jennifer Robin Interiors, the space is designed around showcasing the winemaking process. Architect Luke Wade says, “Kosta Browne knew they wanted to create a mezzanine space overlooking a fermentation room and considerable time was spent contemplating the psychological impact of the journey up to the main space.