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The August 2022 Auction: Part 2

Auction # 723 | View Auction Schedule and Details
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Auction Ends: 8/11/2022 6:00:00 PM PDT

Lot #974. Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2020

Description: Consists of 4 Bottles, 0.75L
Score: 90 WA.
"The 2020 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley is surprisingly bright and lifted, with scents of rhubarb, blood orange, bergamot and Angostura bitters. The light-bodied palate is delicate, soft and juicy, with a satisfying, spicy finish . . . . I visited Kosta Browne to taste the 2019s and a few 2020s with winemaker Julien Howsepian. Due to the wildfires, production in 2020 was down about 60% in the Russian River Valley, and Kosta Browne will not be able to release their usual 35,000-42,000 cases. However, the brand was able to pivot—because they are owned by the Duckhorn company, they were able to source more fruit from the Sta. Rita Hills and the Anderson Valley. "The fires started early, on August 17," Howsepian remembered. "It had been an amazing growing season; the flavors developed much earlier than they did in 2019. We were able to get a lot of fruit off the vine very quickly. We picked a lot of fruit but not everything." Lots were kept separate in the winery, and a committee of winemakers across the Duckhorn portfolio came together to taste the wines and assess potential impact from the smoke. "It has to be the same quality as always," Howsepian emphasized. "We did rigorous testing and tasted many times. But testing numbers don't really say much." Most of the 2020s were still in barrel when I visited, but there are some appellation wines included in this report. Although I didn't perceive any smokiness in these wines, consumers should consider drinking these 2020s on the early side, since the impact from smoke sometimes takes months or years to appear in the bottled wine." Erin Brooks, Wine Advocate Interim, Jul 2022
Provenance: The Arctique Cellar
Lot Location: Orange County
Estimate: $300

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