Au Bon Climat, Isabelle Pinot Noir 2015

Regular price £45.95
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  • Type:

    Red

  • Country:

    USA

  • Region:

    California

  • Area:

    Santa Barbara

  • ABV:

    13.50%

  • Grape:

    Pinot Noir

  • Grape Blend:

    Pinot Noir 100%

  • Winemaker:

    Jim Clenenden

  • Bottle Size:

    750ml

Au Bon Climat Isabelle Pinot Noir 2015 - Wine

Tasting Notes

Part of our elite "Blue Series", Isabelle is comprised of only the best cuvees each vintage. Consequently, it is consistently our top performing Pinot Noir year to year. Dark, rich, and layered, this regal wine is remarkable now, but will be even more integrated and complex in time.

Production Notes

Isabelle is unlike any other Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir. Our top Pinot Noirs prior to making Isabelle in 1994 were all single vineyard wines. Isabelle was the first top end Pinot Noir that was a blend from different locations. After the birth of his daughter in 1995, Jim Clendenen wanted to make a special wine in her honor. Isabelle has developed into a unique young woman and her wine is unique for Au Bon Climat, a blended, high end Pinot Noir. We blend the best barrels from at least six different vineyards. These vineyards range from two vineyards in northern California, one in the Anderson Valley in Mendocino County, and another in the Russian River Valley in Sonoma County, along with five or six of the top vineyards from the Central Coast. Making the best wine from our best barrels is the goal, so the blend has varied over the years. After tasting the best lots, we go through the barrel selection process. This tasting process takes a few days, after the initial selection, the barrels are reevaluated a few months later just prior to putting Isabelle together. Au Bon Climat has made Pinot Noir in Santa Barbara County for 30 years. Our winemaking philosophy and winemaking practices have changed little over that time. Older equipment has been replaced by newer technologies, but better equipment improved the wines and allowed for gentler processing. We still hand pick and sort heavily in the vineyard. We still use open top fermenters allowing us to 'punch down' by hand. Our top Pinot Noirs are never pumped, only moved by gravity. These high end Pinots are aged in new French Oak. Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir is basically the same since 1982, only better.

Critics Reviews

Vinous 94pts (2015) - The 2015 Pinot Noir Isabelle is a selection of the best barrels in the cellar. Undeniably flashy and ripe, the Isabelle is another success from Au Bon Climat in 2015. Time in the glass brings out the wine's depth and substance, both of which carry through to the resonant, expressive finish. I would give the 2015 a few years in bottle to come together fully. There is more than enough brightness to ensure a number of years of very fine drinking

Producer Profile

Founded in 1982, Au Bon Climat produces internationally-recognized Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from grapes grown in California's Santa Barbara County. Located at the foot of one of California's most highly rated vineyards, Bien Nacido in the Santa Maria Valley, one of the finest sites in California, ideal for the production of the refined, Burgundian style of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to which Jim so aspires. ABC, as it is more commonly referred to, has won universal acclaim for its wines thanks to owner & winemaker Jim 'Wild Boy' Clendenen. Jim regards Burgundy as the benchmark to which he should aspire; he purchases clones of Pinot Noir from Burgundy in a bid to replicate as closely as possible the restraint and finesse of the wines from the region. Jim eschewed a career in law for the lure of the vine following a month's stay in Burgundy and Champagne when he was 21. He has never looked back, although he is frequently to be found darkening the doors along the stretch of the Cote d'Or. His wines combine the mineral precision and grace of Burgundy with the flair of the West Coast.