Clendenen Family Vineyards

The Pip Santa Maria Valley Nebbiolo

9.274 ratings
9.315 pro ratings
Santa Maria Valley, Central Coast, California, USA
Nebbiolo
Lamb, Goose, Potato, Baking Spices, Beans & Peas, Hard Cheese, Turkey, Beef, Pasta, Salami & Prosciutto, Tomato-Based, Soft Cheese, Chicken, Veal, White Rice, Herbs, Mushrooms, Pungent Cheese, Pork, Game, Exotic Spices, Chili & Hot Spicy, Duck, Onion, Shallot, Garlic
Top Notes For
Connor Smith

#Nebbiolo is a surprisingly rare grape. Even in its native Piedmont, it accounts for only 8% of vineyard land. There are fewer than 100 hectares planted in the United States. 🕵️‍♂️🍇
Over 80% of prewar Italian immigrants came from Sicily and Southern Italy. Piedmont was the wealthiest and most politically dominant region. But if fortunes were reversed, could Nebbiolo have taken Primitivo/Zinfandel’s place as a grape relatively uncommon on the boot but dominant in California? 🤔🇮🇹🇺🇸
Probably not. The Nebbiolo vine is *not* for beginners. It flowers early and ripens late, making it susceptible to both spring and autumn frosts. It loves the occasional fog bath (some say the name is derived from ‘nebbia’, Italian for fog ☁️☁️☁️) but is prone to the mildew that may result from such humid conditions. Its fussiness would make Pinot Noir blush: it demands southwesterly exposure, a proper gradient, constant sun above, and fog licking at its toes.
#diva
Sound anything like California’s Central Coast? 🌅
In the Santa Maria Valley, where the East-West Transverse Range bends back into the North-South Coastal Range, it’s possible. Vineyard selection still requires extreme discretion - an eye like @JimClendenen’s, perhaps.
Jim began the Nebbiolo program at the legendary
#BienNacido vineyard in 1994. Production is small, but if you track down his “The Pip” Nebbiolo, it will only run you about $30. You’ll believe anything is possible when you have real California Nebbiolo of this quality come wafting out of the glass at you! 🙌🙌
🏞.“The Pip” is named after Jim’s old cellar dog Pip, a border collie. So it only seemed right to include one of our own pips! 🐈

#Nebbiolo is a surprisingly rare grape. Even in its native Piedmont, it accounts for only 8% of vineyard land. There are fewer than 100 hectares planted in the United States. 🕵️‍♂️🍇
Over 80% of prewar Italian immigrants came from Sicily and Southern Italy. Piedmont was the wealthiest and most politically dominant region. But if fortunes were reversed, could Nebbiolo have taken Primitivo/Zinfandel’s place as a grape relatively uncommon on the boot but dominant in California? 🤔🇮🇹🇺🇸
Probably not. The Nebbiolo vine is *not* for beginners. It flowers early and ripens late, making it susceptible to both spring and autumn frosts. It loves the occasional fog bath (some say the name is derived from ‘nebbia’, Italian for fog ☁️☁️☁️) but is prone to the mildew that may result from such humid conditions. Its fussiness would make Pinot Noir blush: it demands southwesterly exposure, a proper gradient, constant sun above, and fog licking at its toes.
#diva
Sound anything like California’s Central Coast? 🌅
In the Santa Maria Valley, where the East-West Transverse Range bends back into the North-South Coastal Range, it’s possible. Vineyard selection still requires extreme discretion - an eye like @JimClendenen’s, perhaps.
Jim began the Nebbiolo program at the legendary
#BienNacido vineyard in 1994. Production is small, but if you track down his “The Pip” Nebbiolo, it will only run you about $30. You’ll believe anything is possible when you have real California Nebbiolo of this quality come wafting out of the glass at you! 🙌🙌
🏞.“The Pip” is named after Jim’s old cellar dog Pip, a border collie. So it only seemed right to include one of our own pips! 🐈

Aug 23rd, 2019
Andrew

Bright and alive. This has a bit of everything. Fresh fruit, acid, light oak and tannin. Light in body and loaded with flavor. Love it.

Bright and alive. This has a bit of everything. Fresh fruit, acid, light oak and tannin. Light in body and loaded with flavor. Love it.

Nov 19th, 2018
James Alford

Maybe the only great, varietally correct Nebbiolo outside of N. Italy. Jim is a crazy alien genius. The oak is a little forward right now. I'd be interested to revisit this in 5 yrs.

Maybe the only great, varietally correct Nebbiolo outside of N. Italy. Jim is a crazy alien genius. The oak is a little forward right now. I'd be interested to revisit this in 5 yrs.

2 people found it helpfulSep 14th, 2014
Jennifer DiDomizio

Judge all you want but with time this is the wotn for me. QPR off the charts.

Judge all you want but with time this is the wotn for me. QPR off the charts.

Nov 26th, 2015
Maggie Hoffman

Wine Editor SeriousEats

9.0

These are legit.

These are legit.

Oct 28th, 2015
Conor Harrigan

Wonderful nose. Great flavors. Airy, light body. Midpalate is nearly perfect. Just a touch hollow. Finish is a tiny bit short. I just really enjoy this wine. Well done. I really look forward to purchasing their five year aged nebbiolo.

Wonderful nose. Great flavors. Airy, light body. Midpalate is nearly perfect. Just a touch hollow. Finish is a tiny bit short. I just really enjoy this wine. Well done. I really look forward to purchasing their five year aged nebbiolo.

Feb 20th, 2015
Sue Mohle

Think ABC is good? Jim does amazing things when his name is on the label!

Think ABC is good? Jim does amazing things when his name is on the label!

Sep 4th, 2014
Kara Van Corbach

Hey I have a red thumbnail too.

Hey I have a red thumbnail too.

Apr 3rd, 2014
Ryan Brazell

Rise Over Run

9.7

I can't believe how good this is. Just a hair oxidized, but it works.

I can't believe how good this is. Just a hair oxidized, but it works.

Mar 26th, 2014
Kristie M. Connor

Pomegranate, fig, prune, cigar, balsamic, cranberry, menthol, rosehip, leather. Well balanced tannins. Let it breathe.

Pomegranate, fig, prune, cigar, balsamic, cranberry, menthol, rosehip, leather. Well balanced tannins. Let it breathe.

Apr 13th, 2018