2005 Clendenen Family Vineyards "Bricco Buon Natale" Santa Maria Valley Nebbiolo

SKU #1125548

One of the great revelations of our 2013 buying trip to the Central Coast was rediscovering the Clendenen Family Vineyards label. Jim Clendenen (Au Bon Climat) started this label in 2000 from family tended vineyards as a project in which his then wife, Morgan and his kids Isabelle and Knox could make as a family. I had sold the wines in the past but they had been MIA for some time. We were shocked by these wines and just how good they were, how classically Californian they were and just how accessible they were. Coming from both organic and non-organic vineyards, some of which he planted himself, the wines displayed great acid, perfect oaken framing and wonderful feel. Some of that had to do with the fact that a few of these wines have been in the bottle for a number of years and are getting closer and closer to their apex, but I think it mostly has to do with the wealth of experience that Jim has amassed and his excitement to pass that knowledge along, not only to his family, but to anyone willing to listen or put in work along side of him.

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Price: $29.99
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Staff Image By: Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/3/2013 | Send Email
As a bonafide Euro wine guy, I must admit that the best wines of California continue to challenge my long held prejudice that the old world simply does it better and cheaper. Take this Nebbiolo from one of the old pro winemakers in California, Jim Clendenen. It has delicious fruit, a pleasantly astringent Nebbiolo finish, and for $30 would likely do very well in a line-up of entry level Barolo. More importantly, the wine is simply delicious and would make a fine pairing with any foods you normally associate with Barolo (a rich mushroom risotto, braised lamb et al)

Staff Image By: Jim Boyce | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/28/2013 | Send Email
This is a dense wine full of dark red fruit, spice, and bright acidity. Even though this Nebbiolo is eight years old, it is truly a baby! Decant now or lay down for a few more years.

Staff Image By: Sarah Covey | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/26/2013 | Send Email
This Nebbiolo shows incredible fruit and polish and yet is still a baby in Nebbiolo-land. Juicy red cherry, raspberry, red roses, fleshy but with medium plus acidity & medium plus tannin. Well-balanced goodness. Drinkable with decanting and food, but tuck this one away for another 5-10 years and I am certain it will only mellow and improve!

Additional Information:



- Tar and roses are the two descriptors most associated with this red grape grown, almost solely, in Italy's Piedmont, where it has achieved fame under the guises of the incredibly and age-worthy wines of Barolo and Barbaresco. Characterized by chewy tannins, high acidity, high-tone cherry and raspberry fruit and truffle aromas and flavors, Nebbiolo has rightfully earned its reputation. Sadly the late-ripening varietal is quite delicate and is prone to disease as well as damage by hail that frequently pelts the region. Outside of Barolo and Barbaresco, Nebbiolo is grown in the DOCs of Gattinara, Spanna and Ghemme. The Nebbiolos of the Nebbiolo d'Alba DOC in the southeastern part of Piedmont are generally lighter and more immediately approachable versions of the grape, aged for less time than Barolo and Barbaresco, which also makes them less expensive. Langhe Nebbiolos are generally made from declassified fruit from the aforementioned regions of Barolo, Barbaresco and Nebbiolo d'Alba.

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 Rhône blends.