About This Wine
In 1974, Jim Clendenen discovered life beyond tacos.
He was in his junior year at the University of California Santa Barbara, studying pre-law. He took a trip to France, and it made such an impression that he returned after graduation and spent a month in Burgundy and Champagne. That’s when Clendenen decided to pursue a life in wine rather than law.
The courtroom’s loss has been the cellar’s gain. In 1981, Clendenen worked a total of three harvests — adding crushes in Australia and France to his “day job” with Zaca Mesa Winery. The next year, he founded Au Bon Climat with Adam Tolmach in Santa Barbara County.
The 2009 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir really reflects the 2009 vintage in Santa Barbara County, with balanced fruit flavors, structure and surprising richness. “There is nothing pretentious here,” Clendenen says, “just well balanced, nicely textured, brightly fruity wine that seems to go with everything.”
About Pinot Noir
Very sensitive to climate and handling in winery, this fickle grape of Burgundy yields low tannin and acidity, medium colors and lifespan. Classic berry, cherry and currant flavors, silky textures typically balanced with spicy or floral tones.
- Grape Composition:100% Pinot Noir
- Grape Source:5 Premier Vineyards in Santa Barbara County
- Aromas & Flavors:Clove, Coriander, Wild Strawberry, Sour Cherry, Smoke & a Hint of Earth
- Aging Vessels:Assorted Oak Barrels
- When to Drink:Now Through 2014
- Food Pairing Suggestiongrilled salmon, or grilled meats.
Green Salad With Cranberry Vinaigrette With almost any type of salad, we suggest Sauvignon Blanc as a well-matched wine. But because of the cranberry flavor featured in this recipe, you may want to try a wine that includes cranberry among its aromas and flavors. We tried it with a lighter-bodied Pinot Noir, and it turned out to be an intriguing and enticing combination. Get The Recipe
Smoked Duck A La Orange Just in case this year's California wildfires impart a smoky flavor to vintage 2008 wines, here's a recipe that will match up nicely. Otherwise, try this dish - developed by Garre Winery Executive Chef Ty Turner -- with naturally smoky wines such as Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Pinot Noir or Syrah. Get The RecipePork Tenderloin With Tart Cherry Port And Caraway Sauce This delicious recipe from Sonoma County's J. Fritz Winery matches beautifully with almost any red wine. It makes 4 to 6 servings. Get The Recipe