Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir 2007

I picked this wine up at Young's Fine Wines in Manhasset.  Kim Cladwell recommended it as a very reasonably priced Pinot Noir.  It is from Jim Clendenen, a well-respected vintner in Santa Barbara County.  I recall that the price was somewhere in the upper $20 range.  But I'm not sure of the actual price.

Jim Clendenen started Au Bon Climat (a well exposed vineyard) in 1982 after being an assistant winemaker at Zaca Mesa and then spending time in both Australia and France.  Au Bon Climat, under Jim Clendenen, is known for excellent Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.  Germany's leading wine magazine, Wein Gourmet, in 2004 named Clendenen “Winemaker of the World;” and in 2007, Jim was inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s “Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America.”  You can read about the vineyard and Jim Clendenen on his excellent web site.

My tasting notes show that this wine is a great entry-level Pinot Noir.  It is very well balanced with a silky smoothness that is very appealing.  It has nice plum notes, level acidity and a fullness in the mouth without being syrupy. It is pleasingly dry.  I found myself really enjoying every taste.  It's a classy wine that shows itself above most wines at this price range.  I give this a very high rating.  It's nice to have a Pinot Noir that is inexpensive but gives the "feel" of the more expensive labels.  Give this one a shot or more like a glass full. Thanks Kim.

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