2019 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir Isabelle
Au Bon Climat has been making Pinot Noir in Santa Barbara County for 30 years. Winemaking philosophy and winemaking practices have changed little during that time. Older equipment has been replaced by newer technologies, but better equipment improved the wines and allowed for softer processing. They still pick and sort everything by hand in the vineyard. They still use open top fermenters which allow them to "punch" by hand. And the top Pinot Noirs are never pumped, and only moved by gravity. The high-end Pinots are aged in new French oak. Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir is basically the same since 1982, only better.
Isabelle is unlike any other Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir. Au bon Climat's top Pinot Noirs prior to making Isabelle in 1994 were all single vineyard wines. Isabelle was the first top Pinot Noir to be a blend of different locations. After the birth of his daughter in 1995, Jim Clendenen wanted to make a special wine in her honor. Isabelle has developed into a unique young woman and her wine is unique to Au Bon Climat, a blended, high end Pinot Noir. The best barrels from no less than six different vineyards are blended. These vineyards range from two vineyards in Northern California, one in the Anderson Valley in Mendocino County, and another in the Russian River Valley in Sonoma County, along with five or six of the best vineyards on the Central Coast. Making the best wine from our best barrels is the goal, so the blend has varied over the years. After tasting the best lots, they go through the barrel selection process. This tasting process takes a few days, after the initial selection, the barrels are reassessed a few months later, just before Isabelle is 'assembled'
When the Isabelle from the Blue Line of Au Bon climat is released, it is almost immediately sold out! Isabelle is a knockout every year. Why? Because it only consists of the best cuvées every year, so even in lesser years this is a hit, but let 2018 have been a great year so we know enough. A top pinot noir comparable to the most beautiful (and then much more expensive Bourgognes). full of dried cherries, raspberry tart, spicy oak and hints of earth and forest floor. Earned 95 points Jeb Dunnuck; 93 points Antonio Galloni's Vinous.
|Type of Wine||Red|
|Appellation||Santa Barbara County|
|Winery||Au Bon Climat|
|Drinking as of||2023|
|Tasting Profiles||Dry, Fruity, Aged on wood, Red fruit, Flexible, Full|
|Drink moments||Barbecue, Cadeau!, Lekker luxe, Met vrienden, Open haard, Romantisch|