Au Bon Climat Isabelle Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
Au Bon Climat Isabelle Pinot Noir 2012 Front LabelAu Bon Climat Isabelle Pinot Noir 2012 Front Bottle ShotAu Bon Climat Isabelle Pinot Noir 2012 Back Bottle Shot

Au Bon Climat Isabelle Pinot Noir 2012

  • RP93
  • CG91
750ML / 13.5% ABV
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  • WS93
  • RP92
  • CG92
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  • RP90
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750ML / 13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Isabelle is comprised of the best cuvees each year from all the wines Au Bon Climat produces and that represents at least 6 different vineyards. The 2012 is a darker, luscious, fruitier Isabelle. It has an intensely perfumed, black raspberry nose with sexy floral and mineral qualities that gain power with air. This one needed no bottle time to show well. Isabelle has proven to age very well, and we routinely drink bottles with 15 years of age. Even though Isabelle is Au Bon Climat's "biggest" Pinot Noir with loads of intensity and power, it is still balanced and food friendly.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The most impressive Pinot here is the 2012 Pinot Noir Isabelle. A selection of the top barrels, it - like the Knox Alexander release - was barrel fermented and aged 20 months in new French oak, of which it's soaked up every trace. Showing distinctly Burgundian notes of sweet red and black fruits, sous bois, underbrush and spice, it's medium bodied, beautifully textured, elegant and layered, with nicely integrated acidity coming through on the finish. Drink it anytime over the coming decade.
CG 91
Connoisseurs' Guide
Less reliant on concentration and ripeness than most of its highrated brethren in this Issue, the Isabelle bottling has a lighter and almost ethereal nature on the one hand and genuine complexity on the other. Its aromatic focus on red cherries gains added range and admirable depth from its nuanced notes of raspberries, dried flowers, sweet herbs and hints of green olives for good measure. Medium-full in body and balanced from front to back, it carries emerging suppleness at the front and the promise of more to come with age. It may not demand more than a year of two but will keep improving after that.
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Au Bon Climat

Au Bon Climat

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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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California

Pinot Noir

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Internationally recognized for gorgeous, pure fruit combined with great elegance, California Pinot noir thrives among the state’s cooler, coastal zones. Characterized by eclectic flavors and aromas of strawberry, black cherry, plum and potpourri with notes of forest floor, mushroom or black tea, the best California Pinot noir boast a supple texture and good acidity, giving them the ability to improve with age.

Credited with the beginning of Pinot noir’s glory in California, two growers, Joe Rochioli and Joseph Swan in the late 1960s independently planted Pinot noir vineyards in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County. Today Sonoma County remains the leading producer of Pinot noir in the state, and Pinot noir is the leading red grape in the county, achieving its highest potential, in the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast.

Other coastal appellations where Pinot noir flourishes include Carneros, Anderson Valley and most of the Central Coast.

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CWMAU1222_2012 Item# 144745

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