Au Bon Climat Santa Maria Pinot Noir 2012

£21.50 per bottle

16.5 Points - Richard Hemming MW (

Ripe fruit and generous oak, already showing fragrant development with chocolate, earth and mushroom flavours. Broad, fulsome.

Taste & Aroma


Ripe fruit and generous oak, already showing fragrant development with chocolate, earth and mushroom flavours. Broad, fulsome.

Richard Hemming MW on Feb 22nd, 2016


Californian Chardonnay and Pinot Noir were taken to new heights in 1982 when Jim ‘Wild Boy’ Clendenen and his then business partner, Adam Tolmach set up this Central Coast winery in Santa Barbara County. A believer of cool climate viticulture for these varieties, Clendenen chose sites in the Santa Maria and Santa Ynez Valleys where ocean fog from the Pacific cool down vineyard temperatures in the early morning and late evening. With Burgundy as his inspiration, he uses clones from this region and is constantly picking up tips from growers there to further refine his wines. Fruit is picked at optimal ripeness though not at the risk of losing the natural acidity in the grapes. Only the finest oak from François Frères is used with just a small proportion of the final wine making their way into these barrels. The Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir is light and elegant using mostly bought in fruit to produce an entry level wine that is balanced and representative of the variety. It develops some complexity in bottle but it is its freshness and fruit ripeness that give it appeal. La Bauge Pinot Noir combines cherry and plum fruit with a seductive spicy edge enveloped in chocolate richness. Excellent value is to be found here in this structured and ageworthy offering. Hailing from a single vineyard site, the Sanford & Benedict Chardonnay is Clendenen’s finest white wine. Rich but tense, complex and layered, ripe apple and citrus notes develop a more caramel and toffee profile with age. This is a classy, fine wine that reaches its peak at around 10 years of age.


California is the largest and most important wine region in the US – in fact, if California were a separate country it would be the world’s fourth largest wine producer! California stretches along the west coast of the USA meaning that soils and climates vary enormously depending on the area’s altitude, latitude and proximity to the Pacific Ocean. Generally the cooler regions closer to the coast are most suited to the growing of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, whilst further inland (where the climate is much hotter) some of California’s most famous Cabernet Sauvignon wines are grown. The famous Ridge Estate is located here and produces some of the best and most sought after wines in California. If you enjoy Chardonnay, we highly recommend you take a look at Liquid Farm Winery, whose Chardonnay’s (we believe!) rival those of Burgundy.



Riedel Veritas New World Pinot Noir

Enjoy your favourite wine the way it was meant to taste with these wonderful lead crystal creations from Riedel, which are shaped according to the character of the wine in order to enhance its rich, aromatic flavours.

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