One of the more special events of the 2017 Nantucket Wine & Food Festival was the Kosta Browne 20th Anniversary Big Bottle Wine Dinner. It was hosted by Dan Kosta, who along with Michael Browne, founded the wine maker Kosta Browne 20 years ago. Dan bought 4 Double Magnums and a Methuselah to dinner, ensuring enough wine for the twenty lucky participants. The food was prepared by Jeremy Sewall, Executive Chef at Row 34 and the Island Creek Oyster Bar.
Course 1 featured a Lobster and English Pea Salad plated with Radish, Avocado and Tarragon. This was served with Kosta Browne’s “One Sixteen” 2013 Chardonnay from the Russian River Valley. Kosta Browne’s first Chardonnay was released in 2009 and Dan commented that their style has evolved since then from a creamier California style to more of a Meursault style. Having sampled both vintages, I would agree. This Chardonnay is the only non Pinot Noir wine made by them and the 2013 was very enjoyable.
Course 2 was comprised of a thick, creamy Roasted Mushroom Soup with Rye Croutons and Chive Crema. The earthiness of the soup paired perfectly with Dan’s 2013 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir served from Methuselah.
Course 3 consisted of a Charred Spring Onion Tortellini accompanied by Black Garlic Butter and Sorrel. The wine for this course was the first of three single vineyards wines, the 2012 Gap’s Crown. Gap’s Crown is one of their coolest vineyard locations and is so named for the cool and windy Petaluma Gap in southwestern Sonoma County in which it is located.
Course 4 featured the main course of Smoked Duck Breast, Spiced Lentils, Roasted Carrots and Pinot Jus. Its wine pairing was the 2013 Giusti Ranch from the Russian River Valley. Their Giusti Ranch offerings are known for more dark fruits and paired perfectly with the Duck.
The final course was a small plate of Cheddar Cheese with a Crostini and a few Marinated Strawberries. The final wine of the night was their 2014 Pisoni Vineyard Pinot from the Santa Lucia Highlands. The wine is made from the “Pisoni” clone which is rumored to be from La Tache. The Winemaker’s notes of “A dark wine with aromas of ripe blackberry, creamy dark fruit with spice. Robust, assertive dark fruits and slight earthiness, as well as a broad mouthfeel” were very much in evidence.
One of the most interesting revelations of the evening were the “labels” on Kosta Browne’s large format bottles. The labels weren’t actually labels and were in fact etched into the glass, creating quite a nice work of art which happened to hold large quantities of wine. Dan says the bottles are not usually sold and are reserved for charity events and wine dinners, so look for one at a charity event near you soon! Or stop by our offices in Orlando as I took the empty Methuselah home with us…