Au Bon Climat Isabelle Pinot Noir 2016  Front Label
Au Bon Climat Isabelle Pinot Noir 2016  Front LabelAu Bon Climat Isabelle Pinot Noir 2016  Front Bottle Shot

Au Bon Climat Isabelle Pinot Noir 2016

  • JD94
  • WS93
  • RP92
  • CG92
750ML / 13.5% ABV
Other Vintages
  • JD95
  • WS93
  • RP90
  • RP92
  • JD92
  • WW91
  • WS91
  • WW92
  • RP91
  • RP93
  • CG91
  • RP93
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750ML / 13.5% ABV

Winemaker 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. The 2016 is particularly dark, rich, and complex.

Critical Acclaim

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JD 94
Jeb Dunnuck
The 2016 Pinot Noir Isabelle comes mostly from the Bien Nacido Vineyard yet is from six different sites spread throughout California. Cherry pits, spicy oak, white flowers, and hints of earth and forest floor all emerge from the glass. It's still tight and reserved on the palate, yet has good tension, vibrancy, and purity as well as fine tannins. This beautiful, elegant wine will benefit from 4-5 years of bottle age and should drink brilliantly over the following 15 years or more.
Rating: 94+
WS 93
Wine Spectator
Offers a crystalline structure, with powerful flavors of dried cherry and raspberry tart, backed by crunchy acidity. Intense minerality emerges midpalate, leading to a finish filled with baking spice notes and hints of cream. Drink now through 2024.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The pale to medium ruby colored 2016 Pinot Noir Isabelle gives up very spicy aromas of dried cranberry, dried red cherries, amaro and citrus peel with old leather, dusty earth, woodsmoke, cola and wild blackberries. It's light to medium-bodied with intense, earthy fruits, a firm frame of grainy tannins and integrated freshness, finishing long.
CG 92
Connoisseurs' Guide

Sourced from a half-dozen sites throughout California, the latest “Isabelle” bottling is, as always, comprised from what Au Bon Climat considers its very best cuvées and, in 2016, is a remarkably deep Pinot Noir that counts careful composition and balance first among its many virtues. It is weighty and racy and surprisingly light on its feet all at once with layered, extraordinarily long flavors of optimally ripened cherries and sweet oak, laced with hints of minerally soil, and, even though it is so wonderfully well-tailored that it invites drinking now, it is an eminently ageworthy rendition that is destined to repay upwards of another decade of cellaring with compounding dividends.

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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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CWMAU1226_2016 Item# 569352

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