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This Week's Tasting
Winemaker Byron Kosuge 's Pinots, Chardonnay, Syrah, Dornfelder (?!?)
April 19, 2023
We are happy to welcome back one of last year's tasting favorite winemakers,. Byron Kosuge makes wines full of fruit with clarity and precision that caress rather than stomp on your palate.
Winemaker Byron Kosuge 's Pinots, Chardonnay, Syrah, Dornfelder
5:00 - 6:30pm
We are happy to welcome back one of last year's tasting favorite winemakers,. Byron Kosuge makes wines full of fruit with clarity and precision that caress rather than stomp on your palate. He is modest and quiet in person, whose methodical seriousness impressed tasters last year. You can see and taste where the wines came from. Virtually a one-person operation, he is an authentic artisanal winemaker.
He describes himself thus:
"I am a native Californian, born and raised in the Central Valley. I'm a purist. I prefer unadorned wines, or at least those that carry their adornment gracefully. I want to be as natural as I can but don't consider myself a "natural" winemaker in the current sense of the term. Like most new-world winemakers, I am inspired by old-world wines, but I firmly believe that in the new world, we should be creating our own traditions and not merely copying what came before.
"In addition to my own wine, I work with several other small brands. [Nearly all] are winegrowers—I like to be close to the source, so to speak. The old cliché is true—great wine is made in the vineyard."
Byron is overmodest in his biography. He omits that in the 90s, he was the winemaker at Saintsbury, then an icon of California Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
We will taste seven of his current releases that represent his style very well. Last year we offered his 2017 Chardonnay, which at a moderate price, displayed an ability to age. I have not yet tasted his 2021, but the vintage is very good in Sonoma. We'll taste two Pinots, one from his Shop from Carneros, the famed Hirsch vineyard in Sonoma. In past vintages, I have preferred it to the Hirsch bottlings. (Sorry, Jasmin)
It's worth coming to the tasting for the 2009 Syrah alone. It is ripe mature syrah from the Hudson Ranch in Carneros. At its peak now, it has note-perfect fruit with the beginnings of secondary notes, a joy for the palate.
Byron also makes wines for MacIntyre Vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands. Their 2020 Donfelder is made with a grape native to Germany but rarely grown in this country. It is hearty and dark-fruited, given a degree of finesse by an overlay of pleasing spice.
2021 Byron Kosuge Chardonnay; (past vintages have been Very -Good to Excellent) $43; Case, $36.55
2022 Byron Kosuge Pinot Noir Rose; Color: very light, clean fresh; Aroma: fresh, rounded fresh, a touch of melon; Mouth: clean, bright nice lemony acidity, clean finish long; Very Good Plus $23.99; Case, $20.39
2021 Byron Kosuge Gamay Noir; Color: very dark; Aroma: heady dense, elderflower, piquant; Mouth: clean fine acidity, fresh juicy, bright, clean dense, firmly structured, fine tannin, a very bright on the finish; Very Good Plus $32; Case, $27.2
2020 Byron Kosuge Pinot Noir Shop; Aroma: deep, very dense, thick, ripe; Mouth: dense sweet, bright full, fat, juicy, fine tannins, clean ripe, full, dense; Very Good Plus $43; Case, $36.55
2016 Byron Kosuge Pinot Noir Hirsch; (past vintages have been very -Good to Excellent) $65; Case, $55.25
2009 Byron Kosuge Syrah Hudson; Aroma: heady lifted, aromatic with bacon, richly sweet, tapenade; Mouth: ripe, dense, fine acid, dark, jammy fresh, secondary notes, fine tannins, low toned long; Excellent $45; Case, $38.25
2020 McIntyre Vineyards Dornfelder; Color: very dark black red; Aroma: light, heady fresh, pretty, juicy, and fine; Mouth: clean, light, angular in the back, firm, heady, richly dense fruit, long; Very Good Plus $37; Case, $31.45
Mix any 12 bottles at their case prices
Wine will arrive this week.
Order by phone at 617.367.8605, or reserve here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please pass this on to any friends who are wine enthusiasts!
- Len Rothenberg
downtown on orders more than $75;
in Greater Boston on orders more than $199