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Au Bon Climat

Wine Specs
Pinot Noir
Santa Maria Valley
Alcohol %

2017 Pinot Noir Knox Alexander

Blue Series - SMV

From the finest Santa Maria Valley fruit, this well structured Pinot is rich and powerful. It has a darker ruby hue as well as a beautiful nose of dried cherry, cranberry, rose hip, earthy forest floor, and dried herbs.  Scored 94+ Jeb Dunnuck; 91 points Antonio Galloni's Vinous.

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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.

Jeb Dunnuck

Score: 94+  Just slightly deeper ruby-hued, the 2017 Pinot Noir Knox Alexander comes from the Bien Nacido and Le Bon Climat vineyards. Another complex, meaty, savory Pinot Noir in the lineup, it offers loads of spiced cherry and redcurrant fruits as well as brambly herbs, underbrush, cured meats, and leather-like aromas and flavors. As with all the 2017s from this estate, it stays fresh and focused on the palate, with a tight, racy style.

Antonio Galloni's Vinous

Score: 91  The 2017 Pinot Noir Knox Alexander is a bold, powerful, savory wine. Dried cherry, game, licorice, tobacco and spice are front and center. This is an especially wild, spicy Pinot. The tannins are a bit grainy today. It will be interesting to see how things develop here. Gamy, earthy undertones linger. The Knox Alexander is mostly Bien Nacido with some Le Bon Climat.


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