Looking for a lower-priced Pinot to be used for boeuf bourguignon, I stumbled upon the Au Bon Climat entry level Santa Barbara Co. 2009. At $23, this wouldn’t break the bank as an ingredient for a delicious meal, nor would it be too much money to blow on an afternoon taste.
Being familiar with many of the Santa Barbara County Pinots, I’ve been curious about the wines from Jim Clendenen having not tried one. The nose has a classic Pinot stench of wet earth and forest floor with mushrooms when first uncorked. This gave way to cherry cobbler and cloves with a little time. The palette is light and bright favoring a Burgundian style over the big ripe Central Coast style. Good acid forms a solid backbone which suggests this will shelf 3 or more years and develop nicely over that time. I’m quite impressed with the form and feel of this wine at this price point! Find the tart cherries, noticeable mineral content, and residual tannins a testament to the craftsmanship given to this introductory level wine from Au Bon Climat.
The winemaker’s notes:
“This wine is just easy to drink. Whether with fresh grilled salmon or left-over roast chicken or just in a glass by itself, the pretty plum and spring strawberry flavors of ABC SB Pinot are simply delicious. There is nothing pretentious here, just well-balanced, nicely textured, brightly fruity wine that seems to go with everything… This is an amazing wine for the price. With so many Pinots shooting up in price this is still a perfect by-the-glass wine. Drink this with any grilled meat; the smoky flavors really bring out the best in this wine. The structure of this wine will hold together for many years, it is drinking well right now and will improve and evolve for another 3 or 4 years.”
Find more at : http://www.aubonclimat.com/about.html
T-Scale: 91 pts. Price $23.00 – very good Pinot Noir at this price level. This drinks well above its price point.