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Au Bon Climat Rincon Talley Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010

Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
  • WE93
  • RP92
  • WS90
14% ABV
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14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Talley Pinot, grown in the Arroyo Grande Valley of southern San Luis Obispo County, is typically the first Pinot Noir we harvest each year. The quality of Talley Vineyards Pinot was evident from the very first harvest in 1991 and remains one of our best vineyard sources. The 2010 release is our 19th vintage. These grapes are hand-harvested in the early morning so the grapes arrive at our winery cold. The first signs of an active fermentation were seen after a three day cold soak. Fermentation took 10 days to reach dryness, during which the must was punched down twice a day by hand. The wine was barreled down to all new François Freres barrels, after pressing and a short settling, and aged for 18 months. We did a light egg white fining to "soften" the obvious tannins typically seen in Pinot grown at Talley Vineyards.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
The quality of this wine is as high as you’d expect, given the ABC production and vineyard sourcing. Not many winemakers are able to source fruit from a Talley vineyard, but Jim Clendenen can. Beyond the raspberry, pomegranate and cola fruit flavors, what’s notable about the is the acidity. It is strong and searing, and strongly suggests pairing with something rich, like lamb. Editors' Choice.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Looking at the reds, and a beautifully done, Burgundian-like effort, the 2010 Pinot Noir Talley Vineyard Rincon (aged 18 months in all new French oak) has bright black cherry, red currant, underbrush, hints of herbs and a crushed stone-like minerality all emerging from the glass. Classy, rich and pure on the palate, with thrilling purity and focus, building tannin and a great finish, this serious Pinot should be given 2-3 years of bottle age and then followed through 2022. Drink 2015-2022.
Rating: 93+
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Offering a mix of mature plum, rhubarb, anise, fresh-turned earth and subtle black licorice notes, this is deceptively complex and layered, gliding along on the finish. Drink now through 2021.
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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, not Pinot noir. 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 Village or Cru level wines. So "red Burgundy" still necessarily refers to Pinot noir.

WWH135978_2010 Item# 145110