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We Speak Wine USD 33.99 750ml

B. Kosuge Pinot Noir the Shop Carneros 2015

External Review by We Speak Wine:

Notes: The Shop is the Carneros Pinot Noir that I was trying to make when I started my winemaking career thirty years ago. Not because it is the perfect wine, but because it strikes me as a very pure and unadulterated expression of the flavor of Carneros. That was the goal all along, and the pursuit of it took me on a circuitous path to where I am today. Ironically, the harvest metrics I use today (sugar, acid, and so on) are strikingly similar to those I used 30 years ago. But the grapes have changed. Farming is better. Clones and rootstocks are more thoughtfully chosen. And the climate is different. The net result is that the grapes are better now than they were before. The 2015 Shop, like the 2014, is pretty ripe and open. But it is a very different wine. In 2014, the wines were juicy and almost angular in their youth; the 2015s are pretty, sweet and alluring and have been from the beginning. And although 2015 was an early, warm vintage, the wines are fresh and fairly modest in alcohol. The Shop is always one of the biggest and fleshiest of my offerings and the 2015 is no different; a bit of tannin on the finish gives it a pleasing lift and persistence. The combination of spice and fruit signals that the wine is from Carneros. 2015 was a challenging year to be a grapevine. It was the fifth year in a row of drought, and many vines were showing the stress of such a long time with not enough water. The crop was small too, especially on the Sonoma Coast but to a less extreme extent in Carneros too. While some feel that the 2015 Pinot Noirs are almost too concentrated, at The Shop, I would say that flavor was concentrated but extract was not. The 2015 is prettier and fruitier, and perhaps more forward, than the 2014 was at the same age. Possibly slightly less tannic. Time will tell how it will age, but it certainly tastes good now!

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Region: USA » California » Napa » Carneros

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Winery: B. Kosuge Wines
Varietal: Pinot Noir
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External Reviews for B. Kosuge Pinot Noir the Shop Carneros

External Review
Source: We Speak Wine
06/04/2018

Notes: The Shop is the Carneros Pinot Noir that I was trying to make when I started my winemaking career thirty years ago. Not because it is the perfect wine, but because it strikes me as a very pure and unadulterated expression of the flavor of Carneros. That was the goal all along, and the pursuit of it took me on a circuitous path to where I am today. Ironically, the harvest metrics I use today (sugar, acid, and so on) are strikingly similar to those I used 30 years ago. But the grapes have changed. Farming is better. Clones and rootstocks are more thoughtfully chosen. And the climate is different. The net result is that the grapes are better now than they were before. The 2015 Shop, like the 2014, is pretty ripe and open. But it is a very different wine. In 2014, the wines were juicy and almost angular in their youth; the 2015s are pretty, sweet and alluring and have been from the beginning. And although 2015 was an early, warm vintage, the wines are fresh and fairly modest in alcohol. The Shop is always one of the biggest and fleshiest of my offerings and the 2015 is no different; a bit of tannin on the finish gives it a pleasing lift and persistence. The combination of spice and fruit signals that the wine is from Carneros. 2015 was a challenging year to be a grapevine. It was the fifth year in a row of drought, and many vines were showing the stress of such a long time with not enough water. The crop was small too, especially on the Sonoma Coast but to a less extreme extent in Carneros too. While some feel that the 2015 Pinot Noirs are almost too concentrated, at The Shop, I would say that flavor was concentrated but extract was not. The 2015 is prettier and fruitier, and perhaps more forward, than the 2014 was at the same age. Possibly slightly less tannic. Time will tell how it will age, but it certainly tastes good now!


External Review
Source: We Speak Wine
Vintage: 2014 03/26/2018

Notes: I have said many times that I feel that California wine, especially Pinot Noir, ages quickly and is quite fragile, more so that its old world counterparts. With that in mind, I have been rethinking how I handle the fruit, from grape all the way to the bottle and to a limited extent, even after it is bottled. Right now, however, my focus is on the aging and finishing of the wine. For the last three or four years, I have incorporated different vessels into the aging regime of all my wines, in an effort to be more protective and conservative with the wine during the time in the cellar. The most noticeable change has been the use of concrete vats for a portion of the aging. California Pinot Noir, when aged in concrete, is less broad and complex than it is when aged in oak, but it is brighter, fresher and more energetic. And, of course, it does not pick up any wood flavor. Blending the two wines, if you get the percentages correct, gives you wine that has the best of both worlds. The 2014 Shop is made up of about 20% wine aged in concrete and 80% wine aged in oak. The oak aged portion is in mostly older cooperage, with only about 20% of the barrels new. I find this to be a pretty good combination, although I am sure different vintages will require slightly different treatment. This is what is so fun about making wine, the constant exploring and adjusting. It never gets boring if you keep an open mind. 2014 was a good year for Pinot Noir in the North Coast of California. It was an early vintage and fairly ripe in character, but with enough freshness and acidity that the wines are lively. They seem pretty approachable young, more so than the brooding 2013s were. The 2014 Shop is fresher and more energetic than the 2013 or the 2012 for that matter. As the vines at The Shop mature (they were planted 16 years ago), the flavors are becoming deeper and, curiously, the fruit seems to demand a lighter hand with extraction. Since I value flavor over size, I am happy to oblige. 347 cases. - Winery


External Review
Source: We Speak Wine
Vintage: 2013 01/14/2016

The first thing that comes to mind when I think about the 2013 vintage in the context of those that preceded it is “classic.” Not classic as in vintage of the century, but classic in terms of what I have come to think of as pure expression of varieties. The 2013 Pinot Noirs tend to be more perfumed, tighter structured and less obviously “fruity” than the 2012 vintage. In this way, perhaps less typically Californian. They strike me as somewhat “old world” or perhaps more accurately, “old school” in character. In a good way, of course. As I have written elsewhere many times, I’m preoccupied with energy, purity and freshness in wine, particularly Pinot Noir. There are too many examples of California wines (some of which I made myself) that seem somehow lethargic after a short time in bottle. It’s not always a function of too much ripeness. It seems to be more complicated than that. Much of my winemaking the last few years has focused on keeping the wines younger, fresher. Less new oak, less time in barrel, less oxidative handling. The 2013 Shop took me by surprise. It is the only Shop to date that I aged longer than a year. It was brought out of barrel just prior to harvest and spent the next three months or so in stainless. I bottled it in December, just after the 2014 harvest. Usually I bottle all my wines on the early side, during the summer preceding harvest, while they still have plenty of energy and freshness. The 2013 Shop, however, demanded a more “traditional” approach, meaning extra time in the cellar before bottling. Both to resolve the tannins but more importantly to resolve the flavors and aromas. An outlier, in my experience. At this stage I find the 2013 Shop to be quite pretty in the aromatics, and noticeably lighter on its feet than the 2012 or 2011, which is a good thing. As always, there are lots of whole clusters in the fermenters, and the wine is fermented using indigenous yeast and bacteria. An honest, un-manipulated expression of Pinot Noir from Carneros. 390 cases made. - Winery



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