Au Bon Climat Larmes de Grappe Pinot Noir 2017 Santa Ynez Valley


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There’s no two ways about it, the ‘Larmes de Grappe’ or ‘Tears of the Whole Cluster’ is a Pinot made for Pinot-lovers by a master of this variety: Jim Clendenen. The 2017 is only the fourth vintage ever made of this astonishing wine (after 2001, 2005 and 2016) which is a special, 100% whole cluster selection from the Sanford & Benedict vineyard.

This is just so, so lovely on the nose. Floral aromatics immerse the senses with notes of sandalwood, spice and even incense. It’s almost like sitting in a Lebanese restaurant with a strawberry cheesecake facing you for dessert. Goodness, that whole cluster feeling really is incredible.
And then you hit the palate. Woah – there is an astonishing pervasion of fruit here; layer upon layer of red cherries infuse the tastebuds with raspberries and strawberries behind. The flavours are gorgeous and intoxicating with heady appeal, yet the palate is simultaneously incredibly focused and pure. The wine feels precise in its intentions, leaving a refreshing touch of pebble stones behind. The tannins have a coated intensity about them which allows them to run across the palate so delightfully, yet they are still tight and focused – and will be for some time yet. This is absolutely stunning. Drink 2024-2038.

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