This may well be our favourite US Pinot Noir. In fact, this would be in contention for most wine geeks - Jim Clendenen is an icon of the California wine scene for good reason. After forty years in the wine game, he’s still producing cracking wines, so if you haven’t tried them, you need to catch up.

 

Santa Barbara County, further south than famous Napa, is Jim’s playground. Though he has his own plots, he also buys in grapes from other estates to add extra dimensions to his wine. The result is heavily inspired by Burgundy - baking spice and dark complexity - but with the fruitiness that comes from the long Californian growing season. 

 

There’s so much to love here, from the fresh, slightly tart strawberry aroma that first hits you to the lingering spiced blackcurrant on the finish. We can’t pretend to be ahead of the curve on this one, but it’s a cult wine worthy of its reputation.

 

Varieties: Pinot Noir

Alcohol: 13.5%

Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir, California, USA

£30.95Price

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