Wine Spectator makes a Pinot Noir its No. 1

The winning wine.
Wine Spectator magazine has selected a California Pinot Noir as its "Wine of the Year" for 2011.

The Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2009 was chosen from among the more than 16,000 wines reviewed in blind tastings this year.

"Part of Kosta Browne's appeal is its unique history," explains Marvin R. Shanken, editor and publisher of Wine Spectator. "This small Sonoma winery was founded just over a decade ago by two waiters who pooled their tips so they could make wine.

"Since 2002, Dan Kosta and Michael Browne have made 66 wines that have earned 90 points or higher -- though they don't own a single vine and make wine in a rented warehouse. In 2009, the greatest vintage yet for California Pinot, the team made 11 outstanding Pinots, including our Wine of the Year for 2011, which scored 95 points and was released at $52."

The full list of the Top 100 will be published in the December 31-January 15, 2012, issue of the magazine, available on newsstands beginning December. 6.

Meanwhile, we can reveal the top 10 selections:

1. Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2009 (95 points, $52, 5,818 cases made)

2. Hall Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Kathryn Hall 2008 (96 points, $90, 2,450 cases made)

3. Domaine Huet Vouvray Moelleux Clos du Bourg Premiere Trie 2009 (96 points, $69, 760 cases made)

4. Campogiovanni Brunello di Montalcino 2006 (96 points, $50, 7,000 cases made)

5. Dehlinger Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2008 (95 points, $50, 1,050 cases made)

6. Baer Ursa Columbia Valley 2008 (95 points, $35, 1,095 cases made)

7. Quinta do Vallado Touriga Nacional Douro 2008 (95 points, $55, 2,188 cases made)

8. Domenico Clerico Barolo Ciabot Mentin Ginestra 2006 (96 points, $90, 1,500 cases made)

9. Alain Graillot Crozes-Hermitage La Guiraude 2009 (94 points, $55, 650 cases made)

10. Chateau de St.-Cosme Gigondas Valbelle 2009 (94 points, $58, 1,175 cases made)

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