Isabelle is unlike any other Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir. Our top Pinot Noirs prior to making Isabelle in 1994 were all single vineyard wines. Isabelle was the first top end Pinot Noir that was a blend from different locations. After the birth of his daughter in 1995, Jim Clendenen wanted to make a special wine in her honor. Isabelle has developed into a unique young woman and her wine is unique for Au Bon Climat, a blended, high end Pinot Noir. We blend the best barrels from at least six different vineyards. These vineyards range from two vineyards in northern California, one in the Anderson Valley in Mendocino County, and another in the Russian River Valley in Sonoma County, along with five or six of the top vineyards from the Central Coast. Making the best wine from our best barrels is the goal, so the blend has varied over the years. After tasting the best lots, we go through the barrel selection process. This tasting process takes a few days, after the initial selection, the barrels are reevaluated a few months later just prior to putting Isabelle together.
The late Jim Clendenen named this wine after his daughter, now a leader in her family winery, and he always made sure it was tip-top. This vintage hits the nose with pomegranate, rose-petal and light eucalyptus-leaf aromas, while the tense palate is brisk with roasted raspberry and pine-needle-tea flavors.
Pale garnet, the 2019 Pinot Noir Isabelle features rooibos tea, dried herbs, citrus peel, tobacco leaves and wild berries on the nose. The palate is light-bodied and juicy with gently rustic tannins, graphite-laced fruits and an uplifted, gently spicy finish.