2015 Au Bon Climat/K&L Wine Merchants "Bien Nacido Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1279866

We couldn't be more excited to bring you another installment in what hopefully will turn out to be a long, fruitful project with wineries from around the United States, working with us directly to make exclusive bottlings for our customers. The Domestic team here at K&L has spent a great deal of time kicking around the idea of approaching wineries or winemakers we love, and asking them to work with us to create exclusive wines to our specifications. Furthermore we wanted to not only promote these outstanding wines, but the wineries behind them (rather than putting them in a private label with no winery attribution). We hope that you think that these wines offer a tremendous value and a slightly different expression of wineries that you are already familiar with. (Bryan Brick, K&L Domestic Wine Buyer)

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Price: $29.99
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By: Morgan Laurie | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/26/2017 | Send Email
As a huge fan of Au Bon Climat's wines, I was very excited to see this collaboration in the store and I was not disappointed. It's pretty and powerful at the same time. The ripe red fruit is exactly what you would expect, but the earthy, mushroom quality, herbs and spice give it some depth. It's a fantastic value. If you're a fan of Au Bon Climat, you'll be savoring this wine just like I did. Drink now with a little decanting or stash this away for a rainy day. This should be able to cellar for quite some time and should only get better with age.

By: Anthony Gittings | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/24/2017 | Send Email
This is a real team effort and a wonderful partnership between Au Bon Climat and K&L. Cherry and strawberry are pronounced on the palate, but the undertones of mushrooms, sage and baking spices really tells the story. The acid is racy and fresh and the finish is elegant and refined, everything that you would expect from Bien Nacido fruit.

By: Jim Boyce | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/16/2017 | Send Email
After tasting the 2015 K&L Bien Nacido Pinot Noir, I was lucky enough to participate in the blending trials for the 2016. We tasted through ten samples of high quality juice from different single blocks around the Bien Nacido vineyard before picking the final blend. Many of these samples would, and do, shine as single vineyard offerings in the $50+ range. It was a treat to see all the work that goes into tweaking the sample percentages until it tastes just right! For this 2015 vintage, Bryan and crew narrowed down to a blend of the three blocks listed below to offer a single vineyard Pinot Noir selection for $30! Vibrant cherry and strawberry fruits, wild herbs, and earth shine. I am still drinking though my 2013's, which still haven't peaked but are still absolutely delicious, and I believe this vintage is even better ad will be enjoyed over the next decade!

By: Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/15/2016 | Send Email
This year we incorporated the same blocks as previous vintages, Block 11 and Block 2 from Bien Nacido, but in different proportions and with a different clonal selection. Block 2 dominates this year, making up 90% of the blend, and within that are equal percentages of three parcels: one a mixture of clones 113 and 103—this was the nose and structure of the wine—and another is all clone 115, which added texture and power, while the other equal parcel was all clone 113, which made the finish of this wine something special. The other 10% came from Block 11 and is a mix of Swan and clone 115 that was whole-cluster fermented. This is the glue that holds the wine together, with snappy red fruits, warm spice, and a juicy feel that we think is wildly enjoyable. This is a plush, fresh and rich Pinot that has a little bit of something for everyone: Meaty spice—check. Ample, delicious fruit—check. Earthy savor—check. But possibly the best thing about it is the price. For $30 it is just an insane value—there is simply no other Bien Nacido-based Pinot Noir on the market for this price, or anywhere near it, honestly. As this was bottled in July 2016 I'd dump this in a decanter for an hour or two to really let it open up if you were going to drink it over the next 6 months to a year and I think this is going to be great 5-7 years down the road.

By: Gary Norton | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/10/2016 | Send Email
Another classic expression of Bien Nacido Pinot Noir. Wild strawberries, salted herbs, blood orange peel and baking spice on the finish. One more knockout from ABC and a terrific addition to K&L's line of co-branded wines.
Drink from 2016 to 2024

By: Dave Genevro | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/10/2016 | Send Email
Delicious! Ready to drink now, with some nice decanting or air. great lively nose, with some dusty berry characters. Nice and elegant structure, ripeness. A lovely balance of textures, acidity and fruit. One of my favorite collaboration bottles we have in the store right now.

By: David Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/8/2016 | Send Email
I love doing K&L cuvees with ABC because I love having another Au Bon Climat pinot noir to choose from! The Bien Nacido Vineyard is brimming with fresh strawberries and spice, subtle tannins, and a core of refreshing acidity that balances out any ripeness from the fruit. This is holiday wine, pure and simple. It's practically begging to be paired with roasted turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, and stuffing. I know what I'm drinking on Thanksgiving. This. And probably a bottle of the ABC Bien Nacido chardonnay as well.

By: Alex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/8/2016 | Send Email
This is one of the finest Pinot Noirs I’ve tasted from ABC. It has the great, rich crunchy fruit one would expect from the Bien Nacido Valley with a frame of secondary flavors like herbs, garrigue and a touch of baking spices. The concentration is awesome while retaining freshness and vibrancy with a great acid backbone. This will certainly be making an appearance at my Thanksgiving table.

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Additional Information:

Varietal:

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.
Country:

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.
Sub-Region:

California

- 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.