clendenen corkThe reason why I chose this odd couple for tasting is because I was going over friends’ house for a BBQ lunch which included turkey burgers.  While there are those who will disagree, I happen to think that in the right circumstances, Pinot Noir pairs quite well with BBQ, especially when the BBQ is turkey.

The video tells everything about the wines as I was tasting them, but I do want to throw in a few extra notes.

The first wine, the Clendenen Family Vineyards 2008 Le Bon Climat Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir was classically delicious in a style that easily straddled Plungerhead_Zin_DCVOld World and New World character.  Beautifully garnet in color, with surprisingly viscous legs for only 13.5% alcohol, and as you may notice from the video, had quite a long and lovely finish.  It was earthy, with a distinct note of a Burgundian character, and it was pure silk on the tongue. Delicious, and it was ideal with turkey!  The slight earthy character complemented the grilled turkey burgers.  It does not come cheap, however.  It is $60.00 through the Au Bon Climat website, and I was fortunate to be able to pay a little less since they were one of the sponsors of the Wine Bloggers Conference. Wine Club members get a discount as well.

I didn’t realize when I purchased the 2011 Plungerhead Zin a few weeks ago that it was made by The Other Guys, whose mission, it seems, is to make good wines at everyman prices.  Plungerhead is just one of their labels.  The others have equally interesting names such as Hey Mambo, MooBuzz, and Pennywise, among others. This isn’t the first time I’ve had their wines, but it’s the first time I’ve had Plungerhead.  This is a more than decent Zinfandel, and very suited for an afternoon of grilling and the pool! Just don’t let the bathroom/toilet/potty humor keep you away.

If you’re in Santa Barbara, please don’t miss the opportunity to stop by the Au Bon Climat tasting room.  Not only do they have beautiful wines, but the tasting room itself is lovely.  Hey. It’s Santa Barbara.  And when you’re there, don’t forget to try the Nebbiolo.  The current release is 2004.  Heavenly and very Baroloesque.


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