Superior juice from one of the Pinot Noir pioneers in California, and a great value for the money! The acronym ABC and its signature triangular label are fitting symbols for Clendenen’s wines. The ABCs are the basics, the building blocks from which everyt Read more...

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Superior juice from one of the Pinot Noir pioneers in California, and a great value for the money! The acronym ABC and its signature triangular label are fitting symbols for Clendenen’s wines. The ABCs are the basics, the building blocks from which everything else is made. Clendenen trained in Burgundy, absorbing the ethos that good wine is made by concentrating on the vineyard basics. Like an equilateral triangle, his wines are clean, focused, balanced, easy to comprehend but limitless in possibility. From the beginning, he has promoted high-acid, low-alcohol wines which pair well with food and age with grace and power. His basic Santa Barbara County cuvée for 2015 is a primer in what makes his wines great. The nose is fresh and ripe, with red berries, cherry, and strawberry fruit over a layer of cedary savor. On the palate, this is clearly young, fresh Pinot Noir, a precise and restrained wine with great California fruit, red cherries, currants, and raspberries, balanced by perfect acidity and supported by silky, well-integrated tannins. With a hint of warm baking spice and earthy cedar at its base, this is a wine of grace and ease, polished and honest, and proof that California can do balance and restraint as well as anyone.