2011 Au Bon Climat Knox Alexander Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley, CA

2011 Au Bon Climat Knox Alexander Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley, CA

Product: 20111135668
Prices start from £225.00 per case Buying options
2011 Au Bon Climat Knox Alexander Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley, CA

Description

The Knox Alexander feels straight-backed and proud, its ‘Pinosity’ cutting through like a knife. Serious, rather than seductive, this is a tight, focused wine with bright acidity. The tannins are extremely fine yet hugely present, surrounded by a restrained core of fresh but sumptuous, pure fruit. The wine has beautiful precision and is completely spellbinding. This is a masterclass in how to make ‘proper’ Pinot Noir from a winemaker at the top of his game.
Catriona Felstead MW, Wine Buyer
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Available by the case In Bond. Pricing excludes duty and VAT, which must be paid separately before delivery. Find out more.
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6 x 75cl bottle
BBX marketplace BBX 1 case £225.00

About this WINE

Au Bon Climat

Au Bon Climat

Founded in 1982, Au Bon Climat (which means "a well-exposed vineyard") produces internationally-recognized Pinot Noir & Chardonnay from grapes grown in California's Santa Barbara County.

Located at the foot of one of California's most rated vineyards, Bien Nacido in the Santa Maria Valley, one of the finest sites in California, ideal for the production of the refined, Burgundian style of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to which Jim so aspires, ABC, as it is more commonly referred to, has won universal acclaim for its wines thanks to Jim 'Wild Boy' Clendenen, its winemaker & owner.

He regards Burgundy as the benchmark to which he should aspire and buys clones of Pinot Noir from Burgundy in a bid to replicate as closely as possible the restraint and finesse of the wines from that region.

Jim eschewed a career in law for the lure of the vine following a month's stay in Burgundy & Champagne when he was 21. He has never looked back, although he is frequently to be found darkening the doors along the stretch of the Cote d'Or. Unsurprisingly his wines combine the minerally precision & grace of Burgundy with the flair of the West Coast.

Au Bon Climat Chardonnay is fermented and aged for 11 months in French oak barrels from François Frères, with a small proportion of new oak. Most of the fruit is picked at optimum ripeness but a little is picked early for natural acidity while some is picked late to add an extra flavour dimension. The Wild Boy version is deliberately made in a more opulent style. Each of the reserve cuvées and single vineyard wines has its own distinct style consistent across the vintages. Knox Alexander, named for his son, is from a hillside site planted with the best Pinot clones now available.

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Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is probably the most frustrating, and at times infuriating, wine grape in the world. However when it is successful, it can produce some of the most sublime wines known to man. This thin-skinned grape which grows in small, tight bunches performs well on well-drained, deepish limestone based subsoils as are found on Burgundy's Côte d'Or.

Pinot Noir is more susceptible than other varieties to over cropping - concentration and varietal character disappear rapidly if yields are excessive and yields as little as 25hl/ha are the norm for some climats of the Côte d`Or.

Because of the thinness of the skins, Pinot Noir wines are lighter in colour, body and tannins. However the best wines have grip, complexity and an intensity of fruit seldom found in wine from other grapes. Young Pinot Noir can smell almost sweet, redolent with freshly crushed raspberries, cherries and redcurrants. When mature, the best wines develop a sensuous, silky mouth feel with the fruit flavours deepening and gamey "sous-bois" nuances emerging.

The best examples are still found in Burgundy, although Pinot Noir`s key role in Champagne should not be forgotten. It is grown throughout the world with notable success in the Carneros and Russian River Valley districts of California, and the Martinborough and Central Otago regions of New Zealand.

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Reviews

Customer reviews

The Wine Advocate91+/100
Antonio Galloni 90

Critic reviews

The Wine Advocate91+/100
All three of the Pinot Noirs were outstanding, and have classic, slightly Burgundian profiles, with notable structure and bright acidity. First, the 2011 Pinot Noir Knox Alexander is a beautiful Pinot Noir that has a clean, layered and classic feel. Possessing plenty of black cherry, rose petal, sappy flowers and earthy nuances, enjoy this medium-bodied, refined and elegant effort over the coming 5-7 years.
Jeb Dunnuck - 28/08/2014 Read more
Antonio Galloni 90
Sweet red cherries, leather, tobacco and mint meld together in the 2011 Pinot Noir Knox Alexander. Mid-weight, gracious and textured, the 2011 impresses for its balance and classiness. The Alexander is all about lift and weightless elegance, much of which comes from the use of 25% whole clusters. In 2011, yields were mercilessly low at 0.4 tons per acre.
Antonio Galloni - Jun-2014 Read more