2012 Au Bon Climat Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir

I have to apologize to all my faithful readers for being late this week.  It is already Tuesday evening and I usually post something on the weekend.  I know you are all probably going through withdrawals from not getting your dose of The Sybarite.  But, I’ve been busy, so cut me some slack!  I realized that I haven’t done a simple wine review in quite a while and I definitely want my readers, especially those just getting into fine food and drink, to continue to taste along with me.

I was over in the San Joaquin Valley of California being a lettuce breeder the last couple days and I was surrounded by vineyards, but they were all for table grapes.  Unfortunately, I was also surrounded by heat and that makes me an angry little Sybarite.  So after a couple long days of being hot and sweaty and dirty, I have finally returned home and am able to open a well-earned bottle of wine.  Tonight’s bottle was actually gifted to me by a good friend who coincidentally also gave me the idea to call my blog The Sybarite.  The best kinds of friends are the ones that give you bottles of wine.  On the menu tonight is the 2012 Au Bon Climat Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir.


This is just what I needed for this evening.  A wonderful, light-bodied Pinot that doesn’t need food with it.  It’s fruity and warm but has enough depth and complexity to keep me interested.  It is funny to me that when people drink a wine they will use any other fruit to describe its flavor…except for grapes, but this wine actually tastes like grapes to me.  Of course there are a bunch of other flavors rolling around as well.  Cherry leads the charge but there are some weird and delicious dark flavors riding in at the end.  I want to say there is almost a touch of marmite taste there at the end.  Maybe I am a little off but there is something on the finish that is dark and heavy and dry.  There is an aroma of toasted nuts on it as well.  I think that smell probably helps bring out the darker flavors at the back end.  Without them, this wine would be a total fruit bomb which can certainly be delicious but balance is always the key to life.  This wine seems like it could be paired with almost any food.  It’s just one of those wines that is always going to be tasty but isn’t unapproachable.  It’s the wine that someone who doesn’t pay much attention to wine could enjoy and might totally change their perspective on wine.  It’s that good but in a completely unassuming and down-to-earth way.  It isn’t going to win any awards or be anyone’s cellar showpiece, but this is a wine that will definitely turn some heads when it is casually opened amongst friends.


It seems like everything in my life is up in the air right now.  I am considering a career change and totally leaving my life as a lettuce breeder and even moving out of this town.  Who knows?  Maybe I will stay right where I am at.  One of the things that remains constant in my life though is my love of food and booze.  Any time I get away from work I am usually seeking out ways to go eat and drink new things.  I learn new things about wine and food all the time and there is still so much to learn.  It’s almost the same feeling I got in graduate school in that I am just a sponge for knowledge, but the more I learn the more I realize that I know very little.  It’s a humbling experience yet so much fun.  I am trying to share as much as I can with all of you and hopefully we all have some fun and drink some good stuff in the process.

2 thoughts on “2012 Au Bon Climat Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir

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