Au Bon Climat 2002 Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir "Le Bon Climat" ($17.99)
This is a very dark garnet wine, clear but not transparent. The aromas define classic Central Coast Pinot Noir, plums, cherries, an unobtrusive dash of warm spice and a hint of "cherry cola." Big, juicy and ripe, fruit-forward but nicely balanced, with pleasant earthy notes that become more evident as the wine opens up in the glass. It's frankly not as "Burgundian" as some of Au Bon Climat's Pinots, but the brown spices and cola character, which can become overbearing in some of the region's Pinots, are held in proportion here as flavor accents. It's an amiable, pleasurable Pinot. US Importer: (Apr 7, 2006)

FOOD MATCH: Makes a great "red wine and fish" match with an excellent yellowfin tuna steaks, crusted with black pepper and black mustard seeds, pan-seared meuniere-style and sushi-rare at the center.



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