Monday, May 2, 2011

TN: Clendenen Family Vineyards 2001 Bien Nacido Vineyards Nebbiolo

Now this is wine: Clendenen Family Vineyards 2001 Bien Nacido Vineyards Nebbiolo. I've yet to have a properly aged Barolo or Barbaresco, but surely this wine indicates I should be laying down high quality Nebbiolo. While Santa Barbara County isn't renowned for Nebbiolo, a notoriously finicky grape, this is excellent wine with years of potential development ahead of it. The structure is awesome, and there's enough flesh and complexity to make this wine far more than a rigid backbone. It's a wine I have when relaxing at home during the evening where I can sip it and let it evolve. If only my cellar had more wines like this!

The wine is produced by Jim Clendenen of Au Bon Climat from Bien Nacido fruit. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir typically come to mind with Clendenen and Bien Nacido. But I guess Clendenen wanted to take on a grape even more challenging than Pinot. While I'm no Nebbiolo expert, I think this was a real success and is better than the Piedmont Nebbiolos I've tasted around this price point.
  • 2001 Clendenen Family Vineyards Nebbiolo Bricco Buon Natale Bien Nacido - USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Maria Valley

    Right up my alley. Firm, but not heavy. Ripe, mature cherry and raspberry. Leather, violet, tar, cedar and spice. Complex, well-balanced. Med-high acid with chalky tannin. Long finish, I could sip this all night. If medium aged CA Nebbiolo can be this good, I should be stocking up on Langhe Nebbs.

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