Au Bon Climat Isabelle Morgan Pinot Noir 2008 Front Label
Au Bon Climat Isabelle Morgan Pinot Noir 2008 Front Label

Au Bon Climat Isabelle Morgan Pinot Noir 2008

  • RP93
  • W&S92
750ML / 13.5% ABV
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750ML / 13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2008 Pinot Noir Isabelle is a selection of the estate's 36 best barrels across many of the Central Coast's finest Pinot terroirs, including Sanford and Benedict, Talley, Bien Nacido and Le Bon Climat. Striking aromatics meld into an expressive core of fruit in this bold, sensual Pinot. This is at once rich, yet accessible. Fine, silky tannins frame a finish of exceptional elegance and pedigree. In short, the Isabelle is a jewel of a wine.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2008 Pinot Noir Isabelle is a selection of the estate’s 36 best barrels across many of the Central Coast’s finest Pinot terroirs, including Sanford and Benedict, Talley, Bien Nacido and Le Bon Climat. Striking aromatics meld into an expressive core of fruit in this bold, sensual Pinot. This is at once rich, yet accessible. Fine, silky tannins frame a finish of exceptional elegance and pedigree. In short, the Isabelle is a jewel of a wine. All of the barrels selected for the Isabelle were new Francois Freres barrels. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2018.
W&S 92
Wine & Spirits
Jim Clendenen blends this wine from his favored barrels, including lots from Bien Nacido, Sanford & Benedict, Talley Rincon and Mt. Carmel. His 2008 is boldly fruited and rich, a dark-toned pinot noir with precise flavors. The texture is supple, the wine fine enough to bridge a range of foods—from a seafood stew to beef or lamb.
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Au Bon Climat, California
Au Bon Climat Au Bon Climat Tasting Room Winery Image

In 1982, Clendenen decided, along with Adam Tolmach, to start a winery dedicated to Burgundian varietals in leased quarters. Adam left in 1990 to pursue his own efforts leaving Jim solo at the helm. Through careful re-investment from its own production, Au Bon Climat (which means "a well exposed vineyard") has grown to over 50,000 cases annually.

Au Bon Climat sources fruit from several of the most highly regarded vineyards in the Central Coast. These include Clendenen’s own Le Bon Climat Vineyard and estate plantings at the legendary Bien Nacido Vineyard – both in Santa Maria Valley, along with Sanford & Benedict Vineyard in Sta. Rita Hills, Los Alamos Vineyard (Santa Barbara County), and San Luis Obispo County's Talley Vineyard.

The winery has cultivated an international reputation for its Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris. Jim Clendenen, the “Mind Behind” Au Bon Climat, is recognized worldwide for his classically styled wines. In addition to his Burgundian-focused Au Bon Climat wines, Jim also established another brand, Clendenen Family Vineyards. This project of passion allows him to make artisan, small lots of distinctive wines from a wider spectrum of varieties in styles conducive to small lots. He has received high acclaim for Italian varietals particularly his Nebbiolo that has a five year aging regimen in barrel.

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The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces a good majority of the state's wine. This vast district stretches from San Francisco all the way to Santa Barbara along the coast, and reaches inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley.

Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including San Francisco Bay, Monterey, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Valley.

While the region could probably support almost any major grape varietiy, it is famous for a few. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel are among the major ones. The Central Coast is home to many of the state's small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as larger producers also making exceptional wines.

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Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”

WWH123642_2008 Item# 114011

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