2012 Pinot Noir ''The Pip'' Le Bon Climat
Our fourth “Pip” Pinot Noir, all from Le Bon Climat Vineyard. This is a special vineyard planted on the Southern edge of the Santa Maria Valley. This vineyard combines poor soil, cool but sunny weather and diligent farming to produce complex and balanced Pinot Noir. Most of this vineyard is planted to low yielding Pinot Noir clones. Clendenen Family has been producing a small amount of a notable single vineyard Pinot Noir from Le Bon Climat. As Le Bon Climat matured the quality of all the Pinot Noir from this vineyard is consistent and improving. We were blending much of the Le Bon Climat Pinot Noir into big blends. But, these lots of Le Bon Climat Pinots were so unique we came up with the idea of “Pip” wines which are aged for a shorter time in neutral barrels
A blend of the six different Pinot clones planted at Le Bon Climat. The two principal clones are 667 and 23, with small amounts of 2A, Mt. Eden, 115 and 777. In 2012 all these clones performed well; all yielded and ripened well. We started with the early ripening clone 667 in c block in early September and finished with the big berry clone 23 in J block one month later. All of these grapes were handpicked and sorted in the vineyard. Most were fermented in 5 ton open tops, punched down twice a day by hand, pressed after 10 to 14 days, and put to barrel after some settling. The wine was racked and blended after 8 months and then bottled 4 months later.
The “Pip” Pinot Noir is 100% Pinot Noir from Le Bon Climat Vineyard. The wine really “shows off” the Le Bon Climat flavor profile. Even through the wine is on the young side, the aromas are complex suggesting dried cherries, blackberries with a touch of Santa Maria brush. Surprisingly rich in the mouth with notes of fresh red berries, the balance is perfect. The tannin balances the fruit, and the acid is in balance with the depth. This Pinot is delicious with salmon or duck, the classic Pinot Noir matches, but its pure style works well with anything from the grill, from veggies to steak.
"Vivid ruby-red. Spice- and smoke-accented red berry and cherry pit aromas show good energy and a hint of orange zest. Gently sweet and expansive on the palate, offering juicy raspberry and cherry-cola flavors and a touch of white pepper. The spicy quality comes back on the finish, which lingers with very good persistence and silky, slow-building tannins." -- Josh Raynolds