Au Bon Climat, Knox Alexander Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley 2015

Regular price £47.75
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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 Knox Alexander Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley 2015 - Wine

Tasting Notes

Named after Jim Clendenen’s son Knox, this wine is from the finest lots of Pinot Noir from the estate Le Bon Climat and Bien Nacido Vineyard since 1998. These two vineyards, separated only by the Sisquoc River, have slow growing vines planted in well drained poor soils, which produce really distinctive Pinot Noir. Both vineyards struggle to yield much most years, but the small amount that is harvested is of amazing quality. Silky and perfumed, this well structured wine offers griotte cherry and cranberry fruit with sage and mint notes, all fused together in this super-expressive Pinot.

Production Notes

Vineyards: Knox is a blend of our two estate vineyards, Bien Nacido and Le Bon Climat. Both vineyards are in the Santa Maria Valley, with Le Bon Climat being located on the southern edge of this appellation. Le Bon Climat was planted in 1998 with low vigor rootstock in some well drained poor soil. This combination of low vigor plants and poor soil limit the crop size and slow ripening. The two blocks selected to be used in Knox are Block 2 and Block 11. Block 2 was planted in 1994 with a wide mix of clones, which are 103, 113, 114, 115, 2A, Mt. Eden along with some Pinot Meunier. Block 2 has a south/west exposure which is good for morning sun though many mornings during the growing season the sun is blocked by our Santa Maria fog. Our other premium block of Pinot Noir at Bien Nacido is Block 11 which is planted with clones 667, 777, 115, 2A, Swan and Jackson in 1997. Block 11 is a steep, hillside block with north/west exposure.

Critics Reviews

Vinous 93pts (2015) - The 2015 Pinot Noir Knox Alexander is absolutely gorgeous. Silky and perfumed, with terrific freshness, the Knox Alexander has too much to offer. Sage, mint, hard candy and red cherry fruit are all fused together in this super-expressive Pinot. A dollop of whole clusters adds aromatic intensity without dominating the balance, while the 100% new French oak is already very nicely integrated. The Knox Alexander is a selection mostly taken from the Block 11 at Bien Nacido, one of the northern-facing parcels on the ranch.

Wine Enthusiast 93pts (2015) - Very light in the glass, this elegant bottling by Jim Clendenen shows spicy aromas of mace, crushed sage and eucalyptus, set against tangy cranberry and hibiscus aromas. It's a sprightly wine on the palate, with thyme, bay leaf and rusty cranberry flavors.

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.