2008 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir la Bauge Au Dessus

Year: 2008
Appellation: Santa Maria Valley
Country: USA - California
Wine Advocate: 91
Vinous Media: 90
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 13.5%
Price :
$25.95
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"The 2008 Pinot Noir La Bauge Au-dessus is made from 55% Bien Nacido and 45% Le Bon Climat fruit. This is a richer, deeper style than the Rincon. Layers of dark cherries and plums emerge from this fleshy, pliant Pinot Noir. The inner sweetness and perfume weave through effortlessly to a round, inviting finish. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2018.

Jim Clendenen is one of the pioneers of the Central Coast. At their best, his wines capture striking expressions of some of the region’s top sites deeply influenced by a huge passion and admiration for the great wines of Burgundy." (WA)

"Bright medium red. Redcurrant, cherry, Indian spices and underbrush on the pungent nose. Shows a firm, youthful structure and smoky red fruit flavors, with slow-building spiciness and a hint of bitter herbs. Then turns sweeter on the spicy finish, which is focused and very persistent. This taut, red fruit-driven wine benefits a lot from air; give it at least an hour in a decanter or another few years of bottle aging." (IWC)

REAL BARGAIN IN THEIR $25.95 RELEASE 2008 AU BON CLIMAT SANTA MARIA LA BAUGE-AU-DESSUS Estate Btld. Pinot Noir

It’s been approaching two decades since I have been a fan of the Pinot Noirs (and to a lesser extent) the Chardonnays of Santa Maria Valley’s Au Bon Climat Winery as well as a fan of their unique owner and winemaker Jim Clendenen. Though most of the Pinot Noirs of Au Bon Climat I have found usually are quite good values, it has general been there more expensive wines where there true exceptional quality emerges.

The reason that I am recommending this more modest priced 2008 “La Bauge Au-dessus,” is that it captures the style and class usually reserved for the more expensive releases. To put in succinctly this is Bon Climat Pinot Noir that is a winner and a real value at its discounted price of $25.95. I found the wine now at its height and it will continue to be a winner for other 4 or so years.

I agree with Robert Parker when he writes, “The 2008 Pinot Noir La Bauge Au-dessus is made from 55% Bien Nacido and 45% Le Bon Climat fruit. This is a richer, deeper style than the Rincon. Layers of dark cherries and plums emerge from this fleshy, pliant Pinot Noir. The inner sweetness and perfume weave through effortlessly to a round, inviting finish. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2018.” And as long as I am quoting Mr. Parker, I’ll include what he says about the wine-maker, in that, “Jim Clendenen is one of the pioneers of the Central Coast. At their best, his wines capture striking expressions of some of the region’s top sites deeply influenced by a huge passion and admiration for the great wines of Burgundy.” (I have added the bold italic to the above paragraph).

RATING: 92/93

PRICE: $25.95 *** bargain

WHERE: Los Angeles Wine Co.

(Martin's Guide to Wine Bargains)

Winery Notes:
Has the usual Bien Nacido hard spice of black pepper, clove, and juniper. La Bauge au Dessus translates into "the decadent party up above" these vineyards are the highest planting of Pinot Noir at Bien Nacido Vineyard.


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