Au Bon Climat Santa Maria Valley
One of the very finest exponents of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in California. Very different to many of their peers, these are wines marked by their restrained elegance, almost Burgundian in style. This applies particularly to the Chardonnays, which are tight and surprisingly backward in their youth but with a potential and depth rarely found outside the finest examples on the Côte de Beaune. The top cuvées need 3 or 4 years to unfold. Jim Clendenen will often pick a small portion of the fruit early to increase the natural acidity in the wine. Pinot Noir ranges from the approachable Santa Barbara example to the supreme Cuvée Isabelle, a barrel-selection of the best barrels in a single vintage from a range of sites and Knox Alexander, the vines for the latter still being relatively young. A whole range of single-vineyard cuvées of both Chardonnay and Pinot are produced. The red La Bauge is generally sourced from the vast and sprawling Bien Nacido Vineyard which has been a vital source for Au Bon Climat over the last decade and a half. Both varieties have also been regularly sourced from the great Sanford and Benedict Vineyard. The Hildegard white blends Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and a small amount of Aligoté in a tight and restrained alternative to Chardonnay. The Clendenen Family Chardonnay is released under a separate label to the Au Bon Climat wines. Jim also vinifies both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in partnership at ICI/LA BAS in Oregon as well as under the Barham Mendlesohn label in the Russian River and makes a range of Italian-style reds and whites under the Clendennen Family banner. (DM)
❁❁ Au Bon Climat Santa Maria Valley ctv
Jim Clendenen 2905 Grand Avenue, Los Olivos, CA 93441
Tel: 805 937-9801 Fax: 805 937-2539
To find out more about Au Bon Climat and their wines, and to see how we reviewed and rated their wines you can check out the Regional Guide here..
Or indeed you can check out the Main Guide that is 2250 pages, reviews over 4000 vineyards and over 30,000 wines here …