2010 Au Bon Climat "Isabelle" Pinot Noir

SKU #1132181 94 points Vinous

 Another striking wine, the 2010 Pinot Noir Isabelle bursts from the glass with serious depth. The aromas and flavors are a bit on the darker side of the spectrum in the 2010. Black cherries, licorice and sweet spices all blossom as this large-scaled, voluptuous wine opens up over time. This is one of the more overt Pinots I have tasted from Jim Clendenen in a while, but all the elements are in the right place. Drinking window: 2014 - 2020 These are some of the most impressive and beautiful wines I have tasted from Jim Clendenen in some time. The 2010 Pinots in particular are stand outs.  (7/2013)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Just drop-dead gorgeous, the 2010 Pinot Noir Isabelle is a blend of the top barrels. Perfumed, elegant and red fruit-driven, with sweet red cherries, spice box, new leather and underbrush all showing in the bouquet, it is medium-bodied, concentrated and elegant, with a seamless texture and juicy acidity. Count me a fan. This knockout Pinot will have 10-12 years or more of prime drinking. Drink now-2022.  (8/2013)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright ruby-red. Cherry-cola and black raspberry on the intensely perfumed nose. Sexy floral and mineral qualities gain power with air and carry onto the palate, which displays potent bitter cherry and dark berry preserve flavors. Finishes impressively pure and supple, with the floral note repeating and silky tannins adding shape.  (12/2013)

K&L Notes

Au Bon Climat's 'Isabelle' cuvee is a blend of the best barrels from the vineyards used for their vineyard-designated wines, including Bien Nacido, Sanford & Benedict, Talley Rincon, and Mt. Carmel. The exact proportions vary each release, based entirely on what is best given the nature of the vintage. We love this wine because it reflects the story of the vintage while capturing the unique characteristics of the distinct vineyards in a manner that elegant and seamless, a testament Jim Clendenen's masterful blending skills. This is serious Pinot: complex, layered, and deep.

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Price: $44.99
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Staff Image By: Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/5/2013 | Send Email
By now it is certainly no secret how much we like the wines from Au Bon Climat. We’ve been inundating you with classy, structured, energetic wines from them for some time now including a wine that we made earlier this year with them. This wine, commemorating the birth of Jim Clendenen’s daughter Isabelle was first made in 1994 and is a cellar selection of the best barrels from the myriad of “single vineyards” that ABC works with. I’d love to tell you what that blend is but the winery is very stingy with that info! Feminine and full of earth laden red fruited richness the nose here is lovely with tones of rhubarb, mesquite, muddled cherry and some distinct oaky, mocha notes. Full and complex on the palate yet holding no excess in any regard this wine is stripped down to only its necessary parts turning more lithe and blue fruited as it lingers. Cassis, Asian plum, boysenberry and a pleasing subtle coffee bean note combine for a lovely, yet intense, drinking experience. Add the shockingly long savory, meat driven finish and this complex, complete Pinot is something to behold. Great now, better with age-I can see this going another 10-15 years without much of an issue.

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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.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.5