Wine Review: Au Bon Climat 2007 Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County

Au Bon Climat 2007 Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County

A Quality Pinot Noir for Less Than $20. Repeat: A Quality Pinot Noir for Less Than $20

Before we get into this, we feel the need to again point out (besides the title of this review and the header right above this) that this is a Pinot Noir for under $20, made by a world-renowned winery. That should really be enough to go on, but we’ll review it anyway.

Au Bon Climat was started in 1982 by Jim Clendenen (this handsome devil). Over the years, through solid techniques learned in the vineyards of France and throughout California, Jim has carefully reinvested in his winery to become a 30,000-case-per-year business. Good for him.

So, just to reiterate: Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir for under $20.


Red fruit juice and a bit more solid than other pinot noirs. Pinot noirs tend to be slightly clearer rather than inky purple.


Smells of earth, strawberry, cherry and must. Also, if sour has a smell, this smells sour.


Do not drink this right after opening. If you can, open it, decant it, and leave it for 30 minutes to an hour. The tartness will really kill you if you don’t. What this means is that the wine is essentially unbalanced and needs air so that the fruit can be pushed to the top a bit. Once it’s ready, there are great strawberries and slightly sour cherries right from the get go. The mid palate isn’t that strong as the acid starts to take over again. The finish is…well, the finish. The wine doesn’t linger, just packs its bags and takes off. Still, for the price and the winery it comes from, a spectacular deal.

With Food

Duck would be ideal because the wine isn’t built to stand up to anything to muscular. Even turkey or chicken would work. We would suggest staying away from steaks, rich red sauces or strong cheeses with this one. Enjoy it with the white meat or by itself.

$17.94 at!

Au Bon Climat website

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