2014 Pinot Noir Knox Alexander
Named after Jim Clendenen’s son Knox, this wine is from the finest lots of Pinot Noir from the estate Le Bon Climat and Bien Nacido Vineyard since 1998. These two vineyards, separated only by the Sisquoc River, have slow growing vines planted in well drained poor soils, which produce really distinctive Pinot Noir. Both vineyards struggle to yield much most years, but the small amount that is harvested is of amazing quality.
Vineyards: Knox is a blend of our two “estate” vineyards, Bien Nacido and Le Bon Climat. Both vineyards are in the Santa Maria Valley, with Le Bon Climat being located on the southern edge of this appellation. Le Bon Climat was planted in 1998 with low vigor rootstock in some well drained poor soil. This combination of low vigor plants and poor soil limit the crop size and slow ripening. The two blocks selected to be used in Knox are Block 2 and Block 11. Block 2 was planted in 1994 with a wide mix of clones, which are 103, 113, 114, 115, 2A, Mt. Eden along with some Pinot Meunier. Block 2 has a south/west exposure which is good for morning sun though many mornings during the growing season the sun is blocked by our Santa Maria fog. Our other premium block of Pinot Noir at Bien Nacido is Block 11 which is planted with clones 667, 777, 115, 2A, Swan and Jackson in 1997. Block 11 is a steep, hillside block with north/west exposure.
Antonio Galloni's Vinous
Score: 94 "The 2014 Pinot Noir Knox Alexander is distinguished by its intense aromatics and layered, vibrant personality. A wine of focus and tension, the 2014 will benefit from another year or two in bottle, although it is incredibly attractive today. A dollop of whole cluster influence adds tension and aromatic top notes in this super-expressive, impeccably balanced Pinot Noir from Jim Clendenen at Au Bon Climat."
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Score: 90 "Pale ruby-purple colored, the 2014 Pinot Noir Knox Alexander conjures notions of red currants, Bing cherries and violets with touches of mossy bark, wild thyme and tilled soil. Medium-bodied, with a pleasant chew to the texture, the subtle flavors offer lovely purity and an appealing herbal lift on the finish."