Au Bon Climat Isabelle Pinot Noir 2013

£35.99

 

TASTING NOTE

Our finest Pinot Noirs prior to making Isabelle in 1994 were all single vineyard wines. Isabelle was the first top end Pinot Noir we made that was a blend. After the birth of his daughter in 1995, Jim Clendenen wanted to make a special wine in celebration and created a blended, high end Pinot Noir. We choose the best barrels from at least six different vineyards. This is a big, rich, lush Pinot. The deep berry fruit is restrained so aromas of wild chaparral (similar to underbrush but wilder) and spices are currently prominent, but will integrate into a harmonious whole as the wine matures. Isabelle is put together to age.

The 2011 grape harvest was difficult. Fruit set was poor and cluster development was inconsistent. The vineyards which flowered early had a large number of “shot” berries. These grapes don’t develop due to pollination issues during flowering. The grapes don’t “size up” and have no seed.  The vineyards which flowered later had fewer issues and much better fruit development. Careful sorting in the vineyard and meticulous winemaking, produced some beautiful Pinot Noir. Our barrel selection process was more rigorous, due to a wide range of quality.

Au Bon Climat has made Pinot Noir in Santa Barbara County for over 30 years. Our winemaking philosophy and winemaking practices have changed little over that time. Older equipment has been replaced by newer technologies, and better equipment improved the wines allowing for more gentle processing. We still hand pick and sort heavily in the vineyard. We still use open top fermenters which are “punched down” by hand. Our top Pinot Noirs are never pumped, only moved by gravity. These high end Pinots are aged in new French Oak. Our Pinot Noir is basically the same since 1982, only better.

2011 Isabelle, the 18th vintage, was blended in June of 2013 and bottled two months later. Some lots were fined, none were filtered. The wine reflects the vintage. The deep berry fruit is restrained so aromas of wild chaparral (similar to underbrush but wilder) and spices are currently prominent, but will integrate into a harmonious whole as the wine matures. Isabelle is put together to age. We have enjoyed many bottles from the late 1990s recently. Past favorites are 1995, 1997 and 1999. However, since the wine represents the best cuvées of each vintage, every year is a good year for Isabelle.

13.5% abv

Au Bon Climat Isabelle Pinot Noir 2013
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  • Au Bon Climat Isabelle Pinot Noir 2013