Jim Clendenen has been a force in the California Pinot Noir world for about a quarter of a century and year after year produces quality wine all price points. The Au Bon Climat "Santa Barbara County" Pinot Noir is a good example. This Au Bon Climat (affectionately called ABC) offering for the "everyday" wine lover is a fine California Pinot Noir you can pick up at a price that won't break the bank. The wine is clean, medium intensity almost cherry red in the glass. The nose does display some complexity giving up juicy red fruits (primarily cherry and strawberry for me), a little hint of plum, spice, and just the slightest nuanced touches of earthiness. The wine is medium/(-) bodied, balanced with good acidity, juicy red fruits, and smooth tannins that come up with a hint of grip at the end of a medium length finish. This wine is very good now and should continue to hold up well through 2014, hard to beat for less than $20 a bottle.
Number of wines reviewed in 2011: 1