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2020 PINOT NOIR, Au Bon Climat. Sandford & Benedict Vineyard

Bin:  454

Alcohol percentage:  13.5%


The Sandford & Benedict single vineyard is in the Santa Rita Hills in Santa Ynez Valley (which runs East: West) and was first planted by Richard Sandford and Michael Benedict in 1971. Just 10 miles inland from the cool Pacific Ocean with calcium rich clay loam soils it is ideal growing conditions for top quality Pinot Noir.

Grape variety:

100% Pinot Noir


Au Bon Climat (“ABC”) was established in 1982 by Jim Clendenen, after exploratory trips to Burgundy. He became obsessed with producing cooler climate, high quality Pinot Noir to the Burgundian model – and in just 40 years the reputation of ABC is firmly established as one of the New World’s best – let alone California. Jim realised that the unique topography and microclimate in Santa Barbara was the perfect backdrop for the production of high-quality Pinot Noir grapes.

Sadly, Jim died in 2021 – far too young at just 68. He had already thought ahead about the next period of transition at ABC and had put together a “dream team”, headed by winemaker Jim Adelman, so the future and legacy are assured. To quote ABC,

He mentored many, influenced even more. Jim was essential in elevating the quality of Burgundian varietals on the Central Coast, and key in generating international recognition of Santa Barbara County as a world class wine region. He never rested on his laurels. He never lost his passion for wine, life, or wearing loud T-shirts”.


2020 was a lovely vintage and the wine included 50% whole clusters, was cold soaked, and aged in French oak barrels for around 20 months of which 50% were new. Bottled unfiltered and unfined.

Very pure, bright soft and red berry fruit, medium bodied with a fine oak framework and lovely texture and balance – true New World take on the Burgundian template.

Maturity potential:

You can drink now but can equally age well for another in 5 years. No need to decant and enjoy in large sized Burgundy glasses with plenty of “swirl room”!


This wine does not qualify for a further case discount