I’ve been shying away from our “drink me” category for a while. There’s just way too much competition to sustain it. But since it’s not every day that we try a bottle of Wine Spectator’s “wine of the year,” I couldn’t resist.
That’s right: wine of the year! Drum roll please…
I was delighted when WS named the 2009 Kosta Browne Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir its number one wine. Mostly because I had three bottles of it stashed away in my cellar. A work friend signed herself and her husband up on Kosta Browne’s purchasing wait-list about six years ago. Both names advanced to the active member list last spring, right around the time I was getting into pinot. So she offered to let me buy one of the shipments. That first one had the Sonoma Coast bottling. Wow. It was like winning the lottery twice. First, I got some of this hard-to-get wine at a good price and then the WS decision in 2011.
Despite the thrill of victory, I’m still a bit skeptical about the idea of naming a top wine. Really it is a bit silly. There are many good and great wines, but part of what makes them good is that they’re distinctive, and thus, hard to compare. What do you think?
Perhaps ranking things this way is an American obsession? Or maybe it has a sales element? According to CellarTracker, the price per bottle almost tripled after the WS announcement. That’s good for business.
We opened this winner for Easter dinner and shared it with our friend and fellow wine-lover, John. All of us (maybe not Hegui, who isn’t too into pinot) were expecting fireworks and to uncontrollably gasp, “ahhhhhhhh!”
It didn’t happen. John’s immediate response, “How can this be wine of the year? I think some of the Williams Selyem pinots are better, don’t you think?” pretty much summed up what we were thinking and feeling.
Don’t get me wrong, this wine is tasty. My work friend suggested that perhaps we had drunk it too young. Could be? Though the WS people drank it even younger than we did. I don’t know. How could the wine live up to all the magazine hype? That’s a lot of pressure.
It was a ruby color with a nose of red berries. Full bodied with red fruit, mineral and a long finish; it was rich and smooth—almost cabernet like in texture. We drank it all, that’s true. Plus I saved the bottle for my “trophy” collection, mostly because this was Wine of the Year!!!!!!
I’d say this one is worth trying, and it is. Though now that the price has skyrocketed, perhaps something else?