World of Pinot Noir: Special Tasting Flight

March 2 @ 11:00 am 6:00 pm

We’re pouring a special flight in honor of World of Pinot Noir: March 1st & 2nd

Au Bon Climat is thrilled to extend a special invitation to you in celebration of the upcoming 2024 World of Pinot Noir.

Since its inception in 2004, World of Pinot Noir has been a cornerstone for Pinot Noir enthusiasts, bringing together the finest producers from around the globe. Au Bon Climat, a dedicated participant from the beginning, is honored to be part of this premier event. Our founder, Jim Clendenen, instilled the tradition of pairing vintage and current Pinot Noirs, showcasing the winery’s unique age-ability. We are excited to continue this legacy at World of Pinot Noir.

CURATED FLIGHT
  • 2021 Hildegard Estate White Blend 
  • 2010 Pinot Noir “La Bauge Au-dessus”
  • 2010 Pinot Noir “Isabelle”
  • 2010 Pinot Noir “Knox Alexander”
$45 per person | $20 for members

Au Bon Climat Tasting Room

813 Anacapa Street, Suite B
Santa Barbara, CA 93101 United States
+ Google Map
+1 (805) 963-7999

World of Pinot Noir: Special Tasting Flight

March 1 @ 12:00 pm 6:00 pm

We’re pouring a special flight in honor of World of Pinot Noir: March 1st & 2nd

Au Bon Climat is thrilled to extend a special invitation to you in celebration of the upcoming 2024 World of Pinot Noir.

Since its inception in 2004, World of Pinot Noir has been a cornerstone for Pinot Noir enthusiasts, bringing together the finest producers from around the globe. Au Bon Climat, a dedicated participant from the beginning, is honored to be part of this premier event. Our founder, Jim Clendenen, instilled the tradition of pairing vintage and current Pinot Noirs, showcasing the winery’s unique age-ability. We are excited to continue this legacy at World of Pinot Noir.

CURATED FLIGHT
  • 2021 Hildegard Estate White Blend 
  • 2010 Pinot Noir “La Bauge Au-dessus”
  • 2010 Pinot Noir “Isabelle”
  • 2010 Pinot Noir “Knox Alexander”
$45 per person | $20 for members

Au Bon Climat Tasting Room

813 Anacapa Street, Suite B
Santa Barbara, CA 93101 United States
+ Google Map
+1 (805) 963-7999

The Monte Cristo Sandwich

The origins of the Monte Cristo sandwich are not entirely known. What is known is that a version of the sandwich was likely served in Paris cafes in the 1920s, and then gained popularity in the U.S. in the 1930s. When it first appeared in American cookbooks it was not called the Monte Cristo, but was rather referenced with its straight-to-the-point name “French Sandwich”. For those unfamiliar with the Monte Cristo, the sandwich posits that breakfast can be enjoyed all day, as the basis of the dish is a sweet and savory blend of a ham sandwich and french toast. 

The brilliance of a Monte Cristo is arguably in its simplicity, as it is just a ham and cheese sandwich that has been battered and fried. But the sweet and savory notes of the dish can be accentuated with a finer selection of ingredients and a few twists to a classic sandwich.

Suggested Pairing: Los Alamos Pinot Noir

The sweet and savory nature of the Monte Cristo lends itself to a complimentary wine pairing with our fruit forward and robust Los Alamos pinot noir. Its ripe cherry and fresh berry fruit profile accompanies the sweet notes of powdered sugar and jam– meanwhile, a touch of acid found in the wine helps cut through the richness of the Monte Cristo. The more savory notes of earth, leather, and forest floor on the wine compliments the smoke and salt found in the Monte Cristo’s ham and turkey.

Ingredients:

  • 8 slices of brioche bread
  • 8 slices of smoked turkey
  • 8 slices of ham
  • 8 slices of Swiss cheese
  • Dijon mustard
  • Raspberry or strawberry jam
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Powdered sugar (for dusting)
  • Parsley for garnish (optional)

Procedure:

  1. Assemble the Sandwiches:
    • Lay out 4 slices of brioche.
    • Spread a thin layer of Dijon mustard on each slice.
    • Layer 2 slices of turkey, 2 slices of ham, and 2 slices of Swiss cheese on each slice of bread.
    • Top with the remaining 4 slices of bread to create sandwiches.
  2. Prepare the Batter:
    • In a shallow bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and cinnamon until well combined.
  3. Dip the Sandwiches:
    • Heat a skillet or griddle over medium heat and add a tablespoon of butter.
    • Dip each sandwich into the egg mixture, ensuring both sides are well-coated.
  4. Cook the Sandwiches:
    • Place the dipped sandwiches on the hot skillet and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side.
  5. Serve:
    • Remove the sandwiches from the skillet and let them rest for a minute.
    • Cut each sandwich diagonally into halves or quarters.
    • Dust with powdered sugar for a touch of sweetness.
  6. Add a Sweet Twist:
    • Serve the sandwiches with a side of raspberry or strawberry jam for dipping.
  7. Garnish (Optional):
    • Garnish the plate with fresh herbs, such as parsley, for a touch of color and freshness.

2021 Isabelle Pinot Noir

Since its first Vintage in 1994, Isabelle has been a blend of the best Pinot Noir barrels from all of our vineyard sources to honor Jim Clendenen’s firstborn, Isabelle.  In 2021, we added two new Santa Maria Valley vineyards to the Isabelle blend, North Canyon Vineyard and Rancho Real Vineyard, where we had the pick of the best vineyard blocks.  We love the cool climate of Santa Barbara County, and the 2021 growing season was very cool.  Perfect for our style of wines, lean, lighter color, and pure fruit flavors.  The acidity will help preserve this wine for decades.

Knox Clendenen: Harvest 2023 Recap

An Update from CO-OWNER, Knox

Knox sits smiling in a barrel of grape vines after harvesting the fruit.

Good morning, afternoon, or evening to you dear reader. I have been let into the insulated and cool sanctuary that is the office to regale you with how our harvest is going so far. Contrary to last year, 2023 has been at a steady pace. In February and March, we had a profusion of rain, which provided much needed vigor to the vines. For most of late August and early September, the overcast weather caused the vines to take their time ripening the clusters. Our first arrival, Pinot Gris, came in on September 6th and since then we have picked Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir. The vineyards have provided an abundance of grapes with splendid quality. The acidity is high while also reaching necessary sugar levels. I believe this will harmonize perfectly with our use of French oak, creating a balanced and restrained wine with limitless aging potential. Though it is already October, we have a long way ahead of us. The labor is intense, however we have smiles on our faces, and more importantly, an influx of caffeine coursing through our veins. We shall keep marching on and when harvest is over, champagne will be drunk, and many a siesta will be had.

Everything Signals a Good Harvest

Keeping an eye on harvest 2023

Grapes send clear signals throughout their growing cycle, so far, all of the signals have been strong.

The cold and wet winter was a clear signal to take a break and shut down.  Vines need at least 6 weeks of dormancy, which was not a problem this year. The cool early summer has allowed the grapes an easy start to their growing cycle. With average daily temps now hitting 85 degrees the vines and grapes have been signaled to grow. These warm days with our foggy mornings are perfect conditions for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

After many years, our winemaker Jim Adelman can walk the vineyards and pretty accurately predict the yields. His take on the coming harvest is Pinot Noir will be above average in yields while Chardonnay will be a bit below average.

One of the benefits of making wine, is that it never gets dull. Every harvest is a bit different. The 2022 harvest presented lots of challenges for our wine making team. Let’s hope 2023 is a bit easier on them!

Pinot Noir grapes at Bien Nacido Vineyard on Aug 4th going through veraison. Netting is used to keep the birds at bay. Harvest will be delayed a few weeks this vintage, but everything is looking good!

Mushroom Wellington

The nutty flavor of creminis makes this a flavorful dish well matched with Pinot Noir. Serve with a mixed green salad with pear, toasted walnuts and dried cranberries.

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz cremini mushroom
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more as needed
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup vegetable or mushroom broth
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce, low sodium
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 4 oz spinach
  • nonstick cooking spray, for greasing
  • 1 sheet puff pastry, sheet
  • flour, for rolling out puff pastry
  • 2 medium potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 large egg, beaten (for wash)
  • water

Procedure:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Add the mushrooms to a food processor and pulse until crumbly, 10-12 times. Be careful not to over-process.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 3-5 minutes. Add the vegetable broth and sauté until the onions are translucent and most of the broth has evaporated.
  4. Add the garlic and sauté for 3 minutes more, or until fragrant.
  5. Add the mushrooms and soy sauce and sauté until most of the liquid has released from the mushrooms and evaporated, 10-12 minutes.
  6. Push the sautéed veggies to the sides of the pan and add a bit more olive oil to the center. Sauté the thyme and rosemary in the oil until fragrant, then incorporate into the rest of mixture.
  7. Add the spinach and sauté until wilted. 
  8. Let mixture cool.
  9. Grease an 18 x 13-inch baking sheet with nonstick spray. On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll out puff pastry sheet to fit the baking sheet. Transfer the puff pastry to the pan.
  10. In center third of the pastry, add a layer of potato slices, side by side. Lightly season with salt. Top with half of the mushroom mixture and spread in an even layer, about ¾-inch thick. Add another layer of potatoes and the rest of the mushrooms, and top with a final layer of potatoes, seasoning each time.
  11. Fold one side of pastry over the filling, then the other side. Seal the top and bottom ends over the filling. Score the top of the Wellington diagonally with a sharp knife. Do not cut through the dough.
  12. Beat egg with 2 tablespoons water in small bowl until frothy and brush over the Wellington. Decorate with more pastry, if desired. Poke a few air vents in the pastry.
  13. Bake for 35-40 minutes. until golden brown and puffed.
  14. Let rest for 10 minutes before cutting into thick slices.