2017 Nebbiolo ''The Pip''
Nebbiolo is THE grape in the Piedmont region of Northwest Italy. The highly sought after Barolos and Barbarescos from Piedmont are Nebbiolo based wines. Barolo, considered “the wine of kings and the king of wines,” is aged at least three years in barrel and another two years in bottle before release. This aging is necessary due to the high acidity and the abundance of tannin found in Nebbiolo based wines. Our “Pip” Nebbiolo gets a similar cellar treatment as its Italian counterpart. It has been aged in large (500 liter) Hungarian Oak puncheons for four years and aged in bottle for another year prior to release.
All of our Nebbiolo is grown in a 1.63 acre section of Bien Nacido Vineyard located in the cool Santa Maria Valley. These vines are now over 20 years old. Few vineyards in California were growing high quality Nebbiolo in the 90s, through trial and error we got manageable yields and healthier grapes.
The yield of grapes impacts wine quality. Too many grapes on the vine and the wine is diluted; a balanced yield is optimal. The production of Nebbiolo at Bien Nacido is naturally controlled three ways: 1. Bien Nacido is a cool growing site, 2. The Nebbiolo is on a breezy hillside which makes pollination difficult and 3. The hillside soil is gravelly and shallow. A small crop in a world class vineyard gives us Nebbiolo of old world intensity.
The 2017 “Pip” Nebbiolo shows all the attributes of good Nebbiolo. The color is deep garnet. Nebbiolo is a light skinned grape and a produces a red wine (Not Black) if grown and made honestly. The aromas of red berries, plums and dried roses are obvious at this stage of development. Balance between the richness, the bright acidity and moderated tannins make this wine an all around food wine. Try it with a wide range of foods from barbecued burgers in the backyard, to candlelit dinner of braised Osso Bucco.
Clendenen Family Vineyards “Pip” Wines Project
Pip was the best dog in the world. There might be many other dogs in contention but if you met Pip you would agree. She chased the ball and the Frisbee for hours, all while hiding between throws. In her imagination she was herdin’ something, a classic border collie. Pip was at the winery most days. It was hard to get visitors to pay attention to wine tasting when Pip was chasing everyone that wanted to throw the ball for herWe could not name just one wine after this dog. We memorialize her with an entire line-up of wines. The “Pip” wines are early releases from either our estate Le Bon Climat or Bien Nacido vineyards. Important attributes of “Pip” wines are a shorter barrel program with less new wood, and using fruit from younger vines. These wines are delicious upon release, so drink up.
VinePair "The Best 50 Wines of 2021"
Score: 92 Nice and bright with a solid concentration of fruit, this is an awesome, vibrant bottling for your next wine and cheese party. The acidity is very active but doesn’t take away from the chewy depth of the wine.