Au Bon Climat Knox Alexander Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
Au Bon Climat Knox Alexander Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label

Au Bon Climat Knox Alexander Pinot Noir 2010

  • WE92
  • WS91
  • RP90
750ML / 0% ABV
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  • WS92
  • WW92
  • RP90
  • WE96
  • WW95
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  • W&S92
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Winemaker Notes

Red fruit and berries dominate the aromas in this wine. The mouth is intense and acidic with disengaged red berries, citrus, and spice. Named after Jim Clendenen's son. This wine is a Vineyard Selection, of the best sections of Bien Nacido Vineyard.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
This low production Pinot Noir will be scooped up by sommeliers who understand how good it is with so many of their entrées. The alcohol is modest, and the oak is in the background despite being comprised of 75% new French barrels. That’s because the raspberry, cola and tea flavors are so strong, they’re able to stand for themselves. The grape source is from Jim Clendenen’s personal Le Bon Climat Vineyard and Bien Nacido. All in all, this is a gorgeous Pinot that will continue to impress over the next six years.
WS 91
Wine Spectator
Offering floral aromas of wilted rose, spice, blackberry and red plum, this is a graceful, supple, tender expression of Pinot, framed by just the right touch of tannins, gripping gently on the finish.
RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A small step down, yet still outstanding, the 2010 Pinot Noir Knox Alexander has lively crushed berries, wild flowers, forest floor, toasted spice and hints of green herbs to go with a medium-bodied, pure and elegantly proportioned mouthfeel. Balanced, with a great mid-palate and fine tannin, it needs another year or two to come together and will drink nicely for upwards of a decade.
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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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Santa Maria Valley Wine

Central Coast, California

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A lesser-known but elite AVA within the larger Santa Barbara district, the Santa Maria Valley AVA runs precisely west to east starting near the coast. The valley funnels cool, Pacific Ocean air to the vineyards more inland, allowing grapes a longer hang time to ripen evenly and achieve their full potential by harvest time. Combined with minimal rainfall, consistent warm sunshine, and well-drained soils, it is an ideal environment for grape growing.

Many of the wineries here are small and highly respected, having established a reputation in the 1970s and 80s for producing excellent Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. More recently, Syrah has also proven quite successful in the region. Many vineyards are owned by growers who sell their grapes to other wineries, so it is common to see the same vineyard name on bottlings from different wineries. Bien Nacido Vineyard is perhaps the best-known and most prestigious.

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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.”

WWH130508_2010 Item# 135954

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