Red(Wine)State - Pinot Noir and Capitalism

The Weekly Bito introduces a new Saturday feature – Wine Stories.

Recently TWB attended the High Museum Wine Auction (our 8th or 9th year as a volunteer) and spent some time with brilliant wine makers. One of their stories documents why America is still a great country and gives us reason to celebrate American achievements in the face of adversity.

Kosta Browne 2007 Pinot Noir is a highly rated and reviewed wine. The Wine Spectator ranked it 4th out of all the wines released in 2009 that they were able to review. This is 4th out of many thousands.

With a 95 point rating and a Mid $50’s price point this is attainable extravagance. Not and everyday bottle – but still within reach.

More important to twb is the story of the winemakers. Michael Browne and Dan Kosta. Michael and Dan worked for a very fine restaurant (John Ash & Co.) while trying to attain other career goals. Michael – who twb met with – worked as a waiter, bar tender and line cook. Doing what he could to make a living. Eventually he fell hard for the local wine culture and spent two years as a sommelier on the floor of the restaurant.

It is during this time of struggle – and self improvement that Michael and Dan pooled two months of tips and bought a half ton of pinot noir grapes and a hand crusher to produce the very first Kosta Browne Wine.

From these humble beginnings American capitalism took root. They worked with out compensation for established wine makers (violating minimum wage laws – but adding and extracting much greater value) to learn their craft. They looked for investors and found Chris Costello. With new skills, deep experience and fresh capital  – they have built a company and a reputation that will serve them well for many years to come.

The time between carrying a tray and carrying the reputation of an excellent wine house? Nearly 20 years. Dedication and endurance need to be returned to the American work ethic.

If you can find the 2007 Pinot Noir scoop it up fast. If not the 2008 is the more recent release. twb does not review – there are brilliant people who can do that much better – but our own experience was:

Dark Cherry – ripe fruit – intense aromas and flavors all melt in to a smooth long lasting finish on the palate. Aromas of chocolate and flowers dominate.

twb loves this wine. The wine stands on its own merits. The winemakers stand on their own merits as well.

The two combined make Kosta Browne Sonoma Pinot Noir a great addition to your wine repertoire.