2016 PINOT GRIS / BLANC, Au Bon Climat. Santa Barbara, California
Alcohol Percentage: 13%
Area: Au Bon Climat are based in the Bien Nacido vineyard in the heart of Santa Barbara County - the (relatively) cool climate area north of Los Angeles, where Burgundian and Rhone varieties predominate. Made famous by the film 'Sideways' which helped kickstart the trend away from heavy Chardonnays and Cabernets.
The Pinot Gris for this wine comes from the El Camino vineyard (near Los Alamos) and Sierra Madre Vineyard (in western Santa Maria Valley); the Pinot Blanc from Bien Nacido (where the winery is located).
Grape Variety: 60% Pinot Gris, 40% Pinot Blanc; matured on its lees in older oak barrels - but certainly no new wood used.
Producer: Jim Clendenen is the self-styled 'wild boy' winemaker / owner of ABC. His hippy attitude is at least partly reflected in the very 'natural' style of his wines.
Old Bridge Rating: Lovely balance of freshness and ripeness. Really classy stuff - not expensive at all by California standards.
Press Reviews: "Sweet oak on the nose, then gorgeously ripe pear juice. This is so unlike any combination of these varieties I’m aware of – burgundian in its oakiness, then full of flavour ripeness. No neutrality here – and a twist of grapefruit bitterness on the finish. And such intensity on the length! - 17/20" Richard Hemming on jancisrobinson.com
£19.95 per bottle
£18.95 per bottle in a mixed case of 6 bottles
£17.96 per bottle in a mixed case of 12 bottles