Cotes du Coeur: Get Your Fix of Kosta Browne’s Sensational Pinot at Gala
More than 60 restaurants in Texas feature Kosta Browne’s premium Pinot Noir –but before you go to one hoping to get a taste, you should know that of the 11,000 cases they make per year, just 15% of that goes to fine restaurants. The other 85% is allocated to their mailing list, where the waiting list to buy the Pinot can drag out to two years.
According to winery owner Dan Kosta, the odds of getting your Kosta Browne fix at a restaurant grow even slimmer when you consider that their wines are distributed across 33 states, which means that a Texas restaurant’s allocation averages somewhere between 6 and 12 bottles. As Kosta put it, “Texas is a really big state. It’s like trying to spread a little butter on a giant piece of toast.”
That must be why those big squares of bread are called “Texas toast.”
All that being said, your best chance for tasting 2007 Kosta Browne Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, the wine that Wine Spectator magazine awarded 95 points, is to attend the Cotes du Coeur Wine Auction and Gala in Dallas on April 10.
The relationship between Kosta Browne and Cotes du Coeur began 3 years ago when event organizers contacted the winery, and the dialogue evolved into a team effort. The Kosta Browne managing partners—Dan Kosta, Michael Browne, and Chris Costello—made suggestions and helped shape the event as a whole. Last year, they created the designations of Sponsoring and Featured Wineries to showcase those wineries that were integrally involved in Cotes du Coeur. Kosta Browne is one of two Sponsoring wineries for this year’s Cotes du Coeur.
Kosta Browne put a great package up for auction last year—they offered 6 spots in their hosted Pinot retreat that included 3 days at the winery with seminars, wine lunches and dinners, golf, spa treatments, and a magnum of their wine. This year, Kosta said they wanted to do something different, so they decided to go outside of Dallas and the Wine Country. They are putting together 6 spots on a trip that includes airfare to New Orleans, accommodations, a Kosta Browne wine dinner, and 6 tickets to Emeril Lagasse’s Carnivale du Vin. That sounds like a good way to top last year to me.
Dan Kosta and Michael Browne founded Kosta Browne in 1997, pooling their tip money from working in restaurants to start their winery. Their first major release was the 2000 vintage, but their real breakthrough came with the 2003 vintage: all six of its Pinots earning outstanding to classic reviews from Wine Spectator. The winery has had 49 Pinots reviewed, with 18 scoring in the classic range (95-100 points on Wine Spectator’s 100 point scale) and 25 with outstanding reviews, or 90-94 points.
Last September, Vincraft, a Sonoma-based investment firm, bought a controlling interest in Kosta Browne for $40 million, allowing many of the original investors to cash out. However, Kosta says that he, Browne, and Costello are still managing the day-to-day business of the winery.
“It’s great to have so many people love what you do,” said Kosta.
Cotes du Coeur benefits the American Heart Association, and the Gala event will be held at the Hilton Anatole on April 10. For more Cotes du Coeur information, visit www.dallaswineauction.com.
Rebecca Marmaduke is Cotes du Coeur Editor for EscapeHatchDallas