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Vinous Scores: It may be Fall but we’re in the 90s! 

THE LATEST SCORES FROM VINOUS

Vinous is one of the most respected wine publications. Their regional reviews are always eagerly awaited, and they have just arrived! Both Au Bon Climat and Clendenen Family wines did remarkably well with ALL wines receiving a score in the 90s (out of 100) with most in the mid-90s. The following represent some of our top-scoring wines...

“Au Bon Climat remains a reference point for Santa Barbara perhaps THE reference point given the global reach these wines now enjoy.”
– Antonio Galloni, Vinous
SCORE: 95 | BOTTLE $50

2020 Au Bon Climat Chardonnay “Nuits-Blanches au Bouge – Hindsight”

The 2020 Chardonnay Nuits-Blanches au Bouge, a selection from Bien Nacido, is remarkably fresh and vibrant. Crushed rocks, citrus peel, mint, tangerine oil and white pepper are beautifully delineated. The purity of the flavors is just striking. Aging is a combination of 350 and 228-liter barrels confers notable freshness. This is a stellar showing from Au Bon Climat.

SCORE: 95 | BOTTLE: $40

2020 Au Bon Climat Chardonnay Sanford & Benedict Vineyard “Santa Barbara Historic Vineyards Collection”

The 2020 Chardonnay Sanford & Benedict Vineyard Santa Barbara Historic Vineyards Collection is a model of crystalline purity and elegance. It emerges from the own-rooted, old vines section planted in the early 1970s, the most coveted spot of the iconic vineyard. Citrus peel, orchard fruit, white pepper and a kiss of French oak build into the taught, nervy finish. This is classic S&B Chardonnay from Au Bon Climat.

SCORE: 94 | BOTTLE: $60

2018 Au Bon Climat Chardonnay Sanford & Benedict Vineyard “33rd Vintage Celebration”

The 2018 Chardonnay Sanford & Benedict 33rd Vintage Celebration spent two years in 350-liter barrels. The added time in barrel yields a Chardonay with notable textural voluptuousness. Lemon confit, marzipan, dried flowers and chamomile are all amplified in this decidedly potent, dense Chardonnay. 

SCORE:94 | BOTTLE: $65

2020 Pinot Noir “Isabelle”

The 2020 Pinot Noir Isabelle is a blend of the best barrels across all the vineyards Au Bon Climat sources from. Dark and enveloping, the Isabelle has a ton to offer. Dark red/purplish fruit, spice lavender and licorice are nicely pushed forward. 

SCORE: 93 | BOTTLE: $65

2019 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir “Knox Alexander”

The 2019 Pinot Noir Knox Alexander is ethereal, delicate and flat-out delicious. Crushed flowers, sweet red cherry fruit, game, iron, licorice, dried herbs and orange peel add exotic flair. This aromatic, mid-weight Pinot is all class. The Knox Alexander is a blend of the best barrels from three estate vineyards – Bien Nacido, Le Bon Climat and Rancho La Cuna. 

SCORE: 93 | BOTTLE: $60

2018 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir Lingua Franca Vineyard “Les Révélés”

A powerful wine, the 2018 Pinot Noir Lingua Franca Vineyard Les Révélés is laced with dark cherry, leather, tobacco, incense, and wild macerated cherry. This racy Pinot is not especially subtle, but it has plenty to offer. Vinification with 50% stems and aging in 100% new French oak are both strong markers. 

SCORE: 93 | BOTTLE: $40

2019 Clendenen Family Nebbiolo “Bricco Buon Natale”

The 2019 Nebbiolo Bricco Buon Natale is a powerful, driving wine. Bright red-toned fruit, cedar, dried flowers, mint and orange peel confer an exotic flair that is palpable. Beams of Nebbiolo tannin give the wine its shape. This layered, super-expressive Nebbiolo is a fine effort and very much worth checking out. 

SCORE: 93 | BOTTLE $75

2018 Clendenen Family Syrah Bien Nacido Estate Plantings

A powerful wine, the 2018 Pinot Noir Lingua Franca Vineyard Les Révélés is laced with dark cherry, leather, tobacco, incense, and wild macerated cherry. This racy Pinot is not especially subtle, but it has plenty to offer. Vinification with 50% stems and aging in 100% new French oak are both strong markers.