Au Bon Climat 'Isabelle' Pinot Noir (due June 2022)
Isabelle is always a blend of the best barrels from the best vineyards at Au Bon Climat, whose aim is to ‘achieve a supple, rich, harmonious, and complex wine’ whilst demonstrating geographic diversity, the exoticity of different clonal possibilities and Jim Clendenen’s preferred winemaking style for Pinot Noir. The 2019 certainly succeeds in that intention with its restrained nose of ripe strawberries and almost pavlova quality to the aromas. However, the impression of sweetness is brought into check by a sensation of redcurrant and cranberry tartness, along with a twist of pink grapefruit to add focus.
Mmmmmm, there is depth and complexity on the palate, around which gentle red fruit and earthy raspberries twist with the intensity and smoothness of a python. There is a textural sweetness here and impressive concentration of fruit, yet the tannins are fine and provide a firm grip. Sweet strawberries draw out the long finish alongside notes of autumnal leaves on woodland walks. This is definitely not a shy, retiring type of wine but it is a mouth-coatingly lovely, gentle and characterful Isabelle. Drink 2023-2036.