2016 Au Bon Climat/K&L Wine Merchants "Bien Nacido Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir SKU #1324795

$19.99

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Tasting Notes

Jim Clendenen, the man behind Au Bon Climat winery in California's Santa Barbara region since 1982, is internationally known for his critically-acclaimed Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. Originally an homage to Burgundy, his decided to start a winery dedicated to small vineyards in leased quarters. Sourcing fruit from several of the most highly regarded vineyards in the Central Coast, we asked Jim a few years ago if he'd be willing to make us a private label single site wine from the legendary Bien Nacido Vineyard in Santa Maria Valley, He willingly agreed and we're now on the third and final vintage of the K&L/Au Bon Climat partnership. Bien Nacido is one of California's most historic cool-climate vineyards; an 800 acre site that can trace its roots back to 1837. With 250 of those acres planted to Pinot Noir, the cool weather allows the grapes to retain their acidity, creating red wines both with delicate fruit and a tangy vibrancy. Our 2016 K&L edition exemplifies both of those qualities with aromas of raspberry and black cherry, fleshed out by accents of violets and spice. It's our most Burgundian ABC edition yet, true to Jim's original vision. Fans of both domestic and French Pinot Noir will want to take note of this once again limited single vineyard edition.

Staff Reviews

  • David Driscoll
    By: David Driscoll
    11/20/2017
    K&L Staff Member
    Au Bon Climat has always been one of my favorite California wineries, so I was excited when we started working on our own private label expressions. While I've enjoyed the previous two Pinot Noirs we bottled under the K&L label, the 2016 edition of the single vineyard "Bien Nacido" is by far the best of the bunch. We just need to give it 20 -30 minutes in the decanter before trying. Bien Nacido is one of our state's coveted sites for cool climate fruit, meaning the Pinot Noirs have more structure and acidity as a result. I can tell you from two empty bottles of experience that the difference a bit of air makes with this wine is night and day. After 20 minutes or so, you get everything you expect from a Burgundian-inspired Pinot Noir: crunchy red fruits, raspberry and hints of earth with lots of spice. I could easily be fooled into thinking this was a bottle of 1er Cru Burgundy (perhaps Pommard or Volnay) if poured blind. The best part is that Au Bon Climat's Bien Nacido release has historically been listed for $40 and over-delivers at that price. At half that price...how can you pass this up?
  • Lilia McIntosh
    By: Lilia McIntosh
    11/20/2017
    K&L Staff Member
    This Pinot Noir could be easily mistaken for Burgundy when blind tasted. First thing that came to my mind when I tasted it was Pommard. Those violet notes, broad texture and linear bright acidity that forms very firm structure enveloped with dark red cherry and touch of red plum are so charming and appealing! Very impressive wine! To be honest it's been awhile since I've tasted Pinot Noir from California that would resemble Burgundy so much. I definitely need some of it for my cellar.

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