2009 Au Bon Climat Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir

SKU #1069207 Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright red. Fresh red berries and spices on the nose. Firm, slightly hard-edged redcurrant and cherry flavors gain flesh with air and pick up a subtle floral quality. Nicely brisk if a tad firm, with good finishing clarity and bite.  (11/2010)

Wine & Spirits

 High-toned cherry and strawberry fruit ride above this wine's ample texture. There's a touch of bitterness in the tannin to balance the fruit, finishing clean and tight in its youth. Decant for braised rabbit or other gamey meats.  (4/2011)

K&L Notes

This bottling from Au Bon Climat is a leading value for Pinot Noir in California. It is a cuvee sourced from the Los Alamos, Rancho Vinedo, Garey, Bien Nacido and Le Bon Climat vineyards. From the winery: "This aromatic wine has aromas of clove and coriander, with undertones of strawberries. The oak gives this wine subtle notes of lees and earthiness. The flavors of this full bodied Pinot Noir is predominantly that or wild strawberries and sour cherries. The finish has a wonderful balance of tannin and acid with the fruit flavors."

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Price: $19.99
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Staff Image By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/16/2011 | Send Email
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A great Pinot from Au Bon Climat. No over extracted fruit bomb here. The wine shows red fruits and spice on the nose and continues on the palate with cherry, raspberry and a fair acidic zest. This is a fantastic food wine and has the structure to pair well with game and braised meats without being too heavy. The wine definitely benefited from some time in the glass (or decanter) to show at it's best. A great wine in it's class.

Additional Information:


Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Santa Maria/Santa Barbara

- Santa Maria and Santa Ynez make up the two AVAs of Santa Barbara County, an area known for its natural beauty and temperate climate. The best grape-growing areas, however, are located on the very coastal reaches of these two appellations, and are cooled by ever-present fog and ocean breezes (it is even cooler and foggier here than Carneros!). As expected, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir thrive while the more inland zones lay claim to Bordeaux varietals and some RhĂ´ne blends.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.5