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Au Bon Climat Isabelle Morgan Pinot Noir 2008

Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
  • RP93
  • W&S92
13.5% ABV
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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

Au Bon Climat

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Au Bon Climat, Central Coast, California
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Au Bon Climat was created to produce high quality handcrafted wine from the traditional Burgundian varietals. They are one of the few California wineries to explore the gamut of these varieties: Aligote, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The winery is located within the Bien Nacido Vineyard, the source of the majority of their fruit.

Central Coast

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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.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).

In the Glass

Pinot Noir is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles delving into the red or purple plum and in the other direction, red or orange citrus. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount) it can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice, dried fruit and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon and tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Villages or Cru level wines.

WWH123642_2008 Item# 114011