May 2024 Wine Club Newsletter

The Latest from Au Bon Climat

As we kick-off May, scroll through for the latest from ABC, including a peek inside our new ABC After-Hours series, a fun update from Knox Clendenen, a highlight of our cellar master, Enrique…and more! And as always, find tasting notes and details for the wines featured in your May Wine Club Shipment below!


Add-on opportunitIES…

Take advantage of two add-on bundles…

For May, Au Bon Climat is proudly celebrating our longstanding partnership with Talley Vineyards with the release of the long-awaited 2022 Talley “Rosemary” Vineyard Pinot Noir, exclusively offered to Wine Club Members. Take the experience ever further and indulge in an exclusive opportunity to purchase a mini vertical library of Talley Vineyards Pinot Noir: 2011, 2012, and 2013. And don’t forget, take advantage of flat rate shipping savings by filling your case!

Talley Vineyards Mini Library Add-on Offer: $300 (Plus, wine club discount!)
  • 2011 Talley Vineyards Pinot Noir “Rincon”
  • 2012 Talley Vineyards Pinot Noir “Rincon”
  • 2013 Talley Vineyards Pinot Noir “Rincon”
Side by Side Add-on Offer: $120 (Plus, wine club discount!)
  • 2019 Pinot Noir “Knox Alexander”
  • 2019 Pinot Noir “La Bauge Au-dessus”
  • 2020 Chardonnay Sanford & Benedict Vineyard
How to add wine to your MAY Shipment

Select “Edit Wines” in the upper right corner of your membership profile. Choose the wines or bundle you’d like to add, then click on Save Selection at the top of the page. You have now customized your shipment. To see the total breakdown including shipping discount, click on ‘TOTAL.

ADD-ON DEADLINE IS MAY 12TH AT 5PM PST. If you would like to add-on wines not featured in your club portal, please get in touch with us. Email or call 805-883-8165. For our members who elected to have their wines shipped, orders will start shipping on May 20th.

For our members who elected to have their wines shipped, orders will start shipping on May 20th

Included in this Shipment…

2021 Chardonnay Sanford & Benedict Historic Vineyard

Aromatics of lemon zest and green apple lift and balance the nose. On the palate is citrus, brioche, nuances of royal jelly and cinnamon, and oak notes of walnut and maplewood. The crushed rock minerality the vineyard is known for is throughout the wine. It has bright acidity and a clean, vibrant, pure style that’s going to gain richness and depth with a year or two of bottle age and keep for a decade. Scored 95 points Wine Enthusiast Magazine.

2022 Hildegard White Blend

Our latest of our favorite Burgnundian white blend: 55% Pinot Gris, 45% Pinot Blanc, and 5% Aligoté. Delicate floral aromas of jasmine and cherry blossom mingle seamlessly with warm nutmeg and lemon cream on the palate. With hints of citron and kumquat emerging over time, this wine offers a depth of flavor complemented by creamy notes of pie crust and macadamia nut. Balanced acidity and minerality ensure a rich, lasting, and complex tasting experience.

2020 Chardonnay “K Block” Bien Nacido Vineyard

Bien Nacido’s original 1973 “K Block” plantings reflect central coast historicism in a seemingly youthful wine. This bold yet balanced wine boasts creamy textures, defined character, and an Old World-inspired aroma. Indulge in soft flavors of vanilla whipped cream and tapioca pudding, complemented by delicate hints of calla lily, lemon zest, and bee pollen. This wine finishes on a lingering and robust maple wood note that lends itself to be paired with richer dishes like lemon pepper carbonara and seared sea bass with a lemon caper sauce.

2020 Pinot Noir “La Bauge Au-dessus”

The complex, Old World character of dried cherry/cranberry, rose petal and cedar with subtle notes of leather and dark chocolate is reminiscent of an aged Burgundy from a superior domaine. La Bauge’s hallmark is its remarkable integration and imminently drinkable character, which this has in abundance.

2020 Pinot Noir Knox Alexander

One of our best vintages of this wine to date! A complex, savory Pinot Noir with loads of spiced cherry, cranberry, and red currant fruits as well as brambly herbs, underbrush, and leather-like aromas and flavors. Beautifully structured, it is focused on the palate, in a tight, racy style.

Named after Jim Clendenen’s son Knox, this wine is a blend of our best lots from the Santa Maria Valley appellation with the majority of the 2020 vintage (86.5%) coming from the prestigious Bien Nacido Vineyard. Block 2 from Bien Nacido was planted in 1994 to Pinot Noir with the majority being clone 115. It has a south/west exposure which is good for morning sun, though many mornings during the growing season the sun is blocked by our Santa Maria fog. Our other premium block of Pinot Noir at Bien Nacido is Block 11 which is planted with clones 667, 777, 115, 2A, Swan and Jackson in 1997. Block 11 is a steep, hillside block with north/west exposure. The remaining percentage (13.5%) of fruit for this vintage is from Runway Vineyard located next door to Bien Nacido. Even though it is so close, the Pinot from this location is significantly different with a deeper, richer, darker fruit character.

The inclusion of whole cluster is rare for a Knox bottling. The 2020 was a large harvest so we carefullly select the best barrels from a much bigger pool of barrels.  The wine is more “outgoing” with good intensity for a young wine that will continue to grow.

2022 Pinot Noir Talley “Rosemary” Vineyard

If your patience could be bottled up, it might taste something like this. Indulge in the revival of our collaboration with Talley Vineyards, it has been a long wait since 2014. Delight in the intricate layers of blackberry, violets, and dark chocolate-covered cherries, complemented by subtle hints of sage and black pepper. With a plush mouthfeel and fine tannins, each sip unveils a luxurious texture, promising a truly decadent tasting experience.

2018 Nebbiolo “Punta Exclamativa” Clendenen Family Vineyards

Though five years in barrel, this medium-bodied red is tight and youthful. The elements are well integrated showing notes of tart red cherry, pomegranate, new leather and sandlewood. As it opens there are lovely layers of dried fruits and amaro-like spices in the mouth framed by firm tannins. “Punta Exclamitiva” means exclamation point (!) in Italian and is made only in the best years.

Jim Clendenen loved Italy – the culture, landscape, cuisine and wines – and visited there numerous times. He especially appreciated their wine’s food friendly nature and decided to make wine from Italian grape varieties in Santa Barbara County in the 1980s. His first attempts were revolutionary at the time. Today, under the Clendenen Family label, we continue to produce high-quality Nebbiolos in the cool Santa Maria Valley in the Old World style. The two best clones of Nebbiolo, Lampia and Michet, were planted in 1994 at Bien Nacido Vineyard just for us. Three different styles are made. The “Punta Exclamitiva” is considered our “Reserve”. It is not made every year; only when the fruit is at its optimum. Consequently, it is always a standout. Five years in barrel has produced a wine of balance, elegance, and Old World charm. “Punta Exclamitiva” means exclamation point (!) in Italian.

Wine Club Members taste wine at the winery in the background of an invitation to attend the May Wine Club Pickup Party.

As we delve into Au Bon Climat’s extensive wine library, the exceptional quality of wines crafted from Talley Vineyard grapes continues to impress. From 1990 to 2014, ABC has been crafting single vineyard Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from these esteemed vineyards. We’re excited to announce the release of our 2022 Talley Vineyard Pinot Noir exclusively for our Wine Club in May. Early barrel tastings promise an exceptional wine. Join us at our exclusive May Pick Up Party at the winery to taste and purchase Library Talley wines, mingle with Brian Talley himself, with Jim Adelman and our winemaking team also available for insight and questions. And of course, don’t miss our bargain table!

Experience the ultimate celebration of wine at our exclusive Annual Wine Club Pick-Up Party on May 18th, hosted at Au Bon Climat Winery on the Bien Nacido Vineyard in Santa Maria. Join us for a lovely Saturday afternoon surrounded by lush vines and rolling green hills for this special event that simply can’t be missed.

Lunch will be catered by Chef Rick perfectly paired with our world-renowned wines. Grab your reservation today!

Click for reservations to the Pick Up Party!

ABC After-hours

Au Bon CLimat After Hours Member Exclusive Event.

Since January, members have had the pleasure of delving into the depths of Au Bon Climat and Clendenen Family Vineyards diverse wine library, embarking on captivating explorations of varietals, regions, vintages, and more. Every last or pre-last Wednesday of the month, the tasting room has gathered to celebrate the craftsmanship behind each bottle.

We are thrilled to announce that “ABC After Hours” will continue to grace your calendars until the year’s end. With each evening, the aim remains to ignite your passion for wine and uncover the hidden gems within the collection.

For those looking to explore the upcoming dates and themes click here to explore all of the upcoming events...

Once again, thank you for your continued support and enthusiasm. Here’s to many more evenings filled with laughter, learning, and, of course, exceptional wine!