February 2024 Wine Club Newsletter

The Latest from Au Bon Climat

Scroll through for an article on the 2021 Isabelle, a delicious recipe and featured wine pairing, meet our new National Sales Manager and more! And as always, find tasting notes and details for the wines featured in your February Wine Club Shipment below!

Click THE IMAGES BELOW to view our featured content & SCROLL FOR MORE INFORMATION ON YOUR FEBRUARY WINE CLUB SHIPMENT…

Add-on opportunity…

Take advantage of two add-on bundles…

Customize your shipment and take advantage of cost savings with our two add-on offers for February 2024! Save money with our flat rate shipping…and don’t forget, wine club discounts apply on top of these offers!

Six Bottle Add-on Offer: $191 (Plus, wine club discount!)

  • 2019 Pinot Noir “Knox Alexander”
  • 2019 Pinot Noir “La Bauge Au-dessus”
  • 2017 Clendenen Family Vineyards 90% Syrah/10% Viognier
  • 2018 Clendenen Family Vineyards Mondeuse Noire
  • 2021 Chardonnay Los Alamos Vineyard
  • 2022 80% Pinot Gris 20% Pinot Blanc

Three Bottle Add-on Offer: $79 (Plus, wine club discount!)

  • 2019 Pinot Noir “La Bauge Au-dessus”
  • 2021 Clendenen Family Vineyards Pinot Gris
  • 2020 Pinot Noir Los Alamos Vineyard
How to add wine to your February 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 FEBRUARY 7TH AT 5PM PST. If you would like to add-on wines not featured in your club portal, please get in touch with us. Email wineclub@aubonclimat.com or call 805-883-8165. For our members who elected to have their wines shipped, orders will start shipping on February 20th.

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

Included in this Shipment…

2021 “Nuits-Blanches au Bouge Foresight” Estate Chardonnay

With 2021 we are looking ahead to the future with our knowledge of the past to continue making quality Nuits in the future. Another brilliant version of this wine with textbook Chardonnay notes of pear, ripe stone fruits, caramelized lemons, chalky minerality, and toasted spice. It is brought up in new French oak barrels and’s medium-bodied and balanced, with a great mid-palate and impressive length. Au Bon Climat started making our blue series, “Nuits-Blanches” in 1996 when Jim Clendenen decided to “show off” the exceptional grape quality at Bien Nacido Vineyard. We picked later, sorted more, and kept the wine in barrel longer than any other Chardonnay.

2022 Pinot Gris Clendenen Family Vineyards

This charming Pinot Gris is crafted in a more Alsatian style. It is easy drinking but with sophisticated elegance. Crisp, minerally, and dry, the wine has a fresh green apple/pear character with subtle notes of lemon and lime that are well-framed. Its delightfully uncomplicated yet elegant nature makes it a versatile food partner. Match with lighter fare such as trout amandine or crab salad. Perfect for casual sipping with friends.

2021 Chardonnay Bien Nacido Vineyard

Introducing our latest release from Bien Nacido, a vibrant Chardonnay that truly stands out. Unlike the Nuits Blanches, Bien Nacido Vineyard Chardonnay was picked a bit less ripe, and with 50% new French oak, it’s less showy than Nuit Blanches.  Crafted in the timeless Old World style, this Chardonnay boasts impressive depth and richness, promising a graceful aging process for years to come. And here’s a little insider note – it’s the only wine in this release that’s been tasted by critics (so far). Scored 92 points Wine Enthusiast, 94 Vinous, Antonio Galloni

2021 Isabelle Pinot Noir

Isabelle is quite complex, showing candied raspberry, cherry, blood orange fruit with notes of anise, wet stone, and bay leaf, and hints of baking spice and pastry crust on the palate. Medium-full-bodied with a tight structure, this wine will evolve and increase in complexity for years. Isabelle is unlike any other Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir. Before making Isabelle in 1994, our top Pinot Noirs were all single vineyard wines. Isabelle was the first, top-end Pinot Noir blended from different locations. After the birth of his daughter, Jim Clendenen wanted to make a special wine in her honor. Every year since, we have selected the finest Pinot barrels from many local and far vineyards. The goal is to make the best wine from our best barrels, so the blend has varied over the years. By choosing and blending only the finest lots, the wine is always the top of its class year after year. Isabelle has blossomed into a distinctive young woman, and her wine stands out uniquely at Au Bon Climat.

2021 Pinot Noir Los Alamos Vineyard “Santa Barbara County Historic Vineyards Collection”

Los Alamos Vineyard has always had a special place in our hearts, the first vintage of Au Bon Climat was made in an old barn on site, through today as we have watched the quality of the fruit continue to improve.True to the Los Alamos wine region, this Pinot has a dense, straightforward fruit character. Aromas of ripe cherry/red berries are joined on the palate by nuances of forest floor, bitter chocolate, cola, and vanilla. Silky tannins add to its considerable appeal. Medium-bodied, beautifully balanced, and elegant on the palate, it’s a no-brainer Pinot Noir to enjoy over the next decade.

2019 Rancho La Cuna Syrah/Viognier Clendenen Family Vineyards

Cola, clovy modeled. No over-ripe fruit here. The Syrah and Viognier grapes were co-fermented and punched down twice daily in a 5-ton, open-top fermentor, a style that is often seen in the Rhône region of France that takes the tannic, muscular Syrah and with the 10% addition of Viognier, gives it suppleness. Aging for 30 months in 50% new 500-liter Hungarian oak puncheons provided additional complexity, subtle oak flavors and excellent integration of all elements.

2019 Rancho La Cuna Grenache Clendenen Family Vineyards

This is a wine of structure, balance, and finesse. The Grenache shows berry, cherry, and pomegranate fruit and earth notes in the nose, followed by deeper berry, white pepper and spice on the palate. It has a regal demeanor in a sophisticated, less obvious style. Can’t wait to see this one age! Only a few barrels are made each vintage, often 100% allocated to our wine club members. Made from our estate vineyard, Rancho La Cuna is in the Los Alamos Valley, between the cooler Santa Maria Valley appellation and the warmer Santa Ynez Valley appellation.

Join us February 11th at our Santa Barbara Tasting Room for our Pick-Up Party! There are two time slots available: 11:30-1:30pm and 2:00-4:00pm, reservations are required.

Local Santa Barbara husband and wife team, Big G’s Barbecue, will be serving up tri-tip sliders and cowboy beans. We hope to see you there!

Join us in the tasting room on February 11th for our Pick-Up Party. Reservations are required. Click to reserve!

Welcome, Cher!

New National Sales Manager

Cher Engelstad - National Sales Manager at Au Bon Climat Winery

For many, many years Jim Clendenen not only made the wine, but he was also its only salesperson.  In 2009 we convinced him to accept some help.  Michael Main was hired as Au Bon Climat’s first National Sales Manager.  Michael had the personality and experience to be the perfect fit and quickly earned Clendenen’s confidence and respect.  Michael’s sales efforts led Au Bon Climat’s growth.  Sadly after 14 years, Michael has chosen to retire. 

ABC is welcoming Cher Engelstad as our new National Sales Manager.  Cher’s career included many positions throughout the industry, but as a natural salesperson, sales has been her focus and is where she shines.  Cher worked with Clos LaChance, Joseph Phelps, and  Inglenook Winery.  Cher worked with Francis Ford Coppola, so we know she could handle big personalities.  Selling wine is challenging, and we are happy to have Cher and her expertise on our team.

November 2023 Wine Club Newsletter

The Latest from Au Bon Climat

Happy greetings from Au Bon Climat! Scroll through for our latest news, including an update on Harvest 2023 shared by Knox Clendenen, prepare for the season of hosting and cheer with a preview of our Holiday offerings, plus a delicious chicken dish for chilly nights. And as always, find tasting notes and details for the wines featured in your November Wine Club Shipment below!

Click THE IMAGES BELOW to view our featured content & SCROLL FOR MORE INFORMATION ON YOUR november WINE CLUB SHIPMENT…

Add-on opportunity…

Take advantage of an opportunity to add rare Library Wines to your shipment while saving money with our Flat Rate Shipping…

An enticing selection to add to your shipment, ship more wine with our Flat Rate Shipping. These rare and fabulous library wines are November’s Wine Club Shipment add-on. Time has taken these wines to a new, elevated level only achieved with age and patience–and we’ve done that for you. Each wine was tasted, evaluated, and approved by our winemaking team. Take advantage of the opportunity to add any (or all!) of these incredible bottles. Based on your delivery address, our shipping rates will be the same for 1-3 bottles, 4-6 bottles or 7-12 bottles.

A description of the Add-On bottle offering. 
2001 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir, Sanford & Benedict Vineyard
Originally this wine was a bunker buster. Massive cherry fruit, flavored with cinnamon, rich cola, cocoa and toasty oak. The wine has developed gracefully over the years. 95/Editor’s Choice Wine Enthusiast
 
2007 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir, Bien Nacido Vineyard
A complex nose of red berry, cherry, dried rose and mint are followed on the palate with red fruit and spice. Age has unified the components into a soft, silky expression with intriguing flavors. 91 Vinous
 
2012 Au Bon Climat Hildegard Estate White Blend
Classic Hildegard aromas of melon, pear, white flowers, crushed chalk are well integrated. The flavor profile follows suit with a wonderful trace of butterscotch from age. A wine of richness and length.  92 Wine Enthusiast
 
2012 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir Knox Alexander
91 Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
Utterly seamless and perfectly balanced, with classic notes of sweet cherries, damp soil, forest floor and wild herbs. This elegant, silky Pinot is just coming into its own. Gorgeous. 91 Wine Advocate and Wine Spectator
 
2012 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir Isabelle
This impressive Pinot shows distinctly Burgundian notes of sweet red and black fruits, sous bois, underbrush and spice; it's beautifully textured, elegant and layered.  93 Wine Advocate
 
2012 Clendenen Family Chardonnay, Le Bon Climat
A rich, creamy wine with a nose of honeyed apricots, orange blossoms, brioche joined by savory/toasty/nutty flavors complimenting the stone fruit and citrus layers What a treat!  94 Wine Advocate 93 Wine Enthusiast, 93 Vinous, 90 Wine Spectator
How to add wine to your November Shipment

Take advantage of cost savings with our Flat Rate Shipping… In your wine club shipment email, click the ‘Adjust Your Shipment’ button. On the next page, under the blue menu banner on the top in the right corner, click on the button ‘Edit Wines.’ Select the wines you’d like to add, then click on ‘Save Selection’ located on top. You have now customized your shipment. To see the total breakdown including shipping discount, click on ‘TOTAL’.

Please note: Add-on deadline is October 31st. If you would like to add-on wines not featured in your club portal, please get in touch with us. Email wineclub@aubonclimat.com or call 805-883-8165.

For our members who elected to have their wines shipped, orders will ship on November 13th.

 

Included in this Shipment…

2021 Au Bon Climat Hildegard Estate White Blend, Santa Maria Valley

55% Pinot Gris, 45% Pinot Blanc 5% Aligoté. A regal white with minerality and complexity highlighting this luscious blend. Fig and melon notes from the Pinot Gris are joined by green apple and stone fruits from the Pinot Blanc. It is round and enticing with a lovely floral oak in that finish. As it ages the texture and flavors will expand. Scored 94 points/Editor’s Choice Wine Enthusiast Magazine, 94 Vinous, and 93 Jeb Dunnuck.

2022 Clendenen Family Chenin Blanc, Rancho La Cuna, Santa Barbara County

A sophisticated dry white with an ethereal nose. The minerality is apparent along with aromas of honeysuckle and quince backed with layers of lime zest and coriander. Completion of barrel and malolactic fermentation increased the weight and depth mid-palate while the crisp acidity lifts the finish. Excellent now but will continue to develop in years to come.

2019 Clendenen Family Chardonnay, Le Bon Climat, Santa Maria Valley

A wine of texture but also airy and nicely lifted. Lemon confit, dried flowers, mint, chamomile, and tangerine peel are beautifully framed by a discreet touch of oak. Though aged 18 months in new French oak, using in 350L barrels helps maintain freshness and nuance. Bright acids pull it back together in the finish. A stunning wine that will develop for some time. Scored 94 points Vinous.

2020 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir Sanford & Benedict Vineyard, Sta. Rita Hills

From a great site in the Sta. Rita Hills and fermented with 50% whole clusters, this is a more savory, perfumed expression of Pinot from this vineyard. The wine shows wild strawberry and crushed red berry fruit with nuances of allspice, dried flowers, citrus peel, cedar and autumn leaves. It is a chiseled, focused but graceful Pinot Noir that will unquestionably keep for over a decade. Aged 20 months in 50% new French oak barrels. Scored 95 points Vinous.

2019 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir Oregon

Our second Oregon Pinot in the series is sourced from the highly regarded, estate vineyard of Lingua Franca in the Eola-Amity Hills of Willamette Valley. Classically vinified, we also included some whole clusters in the fermentation to add more complexity and substance. This is a dark and supple Pinot, with perfumed aromas and flavors of ripe red and dark fruits enhanced by notes of star anise and exotic spices. It deftly plays richness off elegance. The wine is Imminently drinkable, but will continue to develop. Aged 18 months in François Frères French oak barrels.

2021 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir Bien Nacido, Santa Maria Valley

An exquisitely elegant, perfumed wine loaded with character. Dried hibiscus and alpine strawberry take the lead followed by dark cherry, dried cranberry, cedar, mint and earthy sage tones. High fruit acid and great structure from oak tannins assist in creating a wonderfully balanced wine. Aged 20 months in 350L François Frères French oak barrels, the larger format preserves the freshness. Scored 97 points/Editor’s Choice in Wine Enthusiast, and 94 Vinous.

2019 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir Larmes de Grappe, Sta. Rita Hills

From the legendary Sanford & Benedict Vineyard, this is a special wine. Supple and racy in the glass, with terrific depth and balance and flavors that linger. Perfumed floral, spice and savory notes emerge from beneath fruit that suggests red cherry, plum, rose petal, mint and blood orange. The 2019 “Tears of the Grape” Pinot Noir is a dense, beautifully structured red that is also silky and elegant. 100% whole cluster fermentation and 20 months age in specially made, 100% new François Frères French oak 350-liter barrels helped to build this outstanding.

around the corner…

Six Au Bon Climat Wine Bottles in a row in front of a fireplace and a Christmas tree.
Coming Soon: Holiday Specials

The holidays are just around the corner, and now is the time to take advantage of your wine club discount and Flat Rate shipping. We’ll make gift giving, parties, and family get-togethers easy.

We have put together a number of exciting bundles, case selections, magnums, and gift sets, many specially priced. Wine club discounts are applied on top of that. These opportunities have limited time frames and will be staggered over the next few months. Our first begins in mid-November with Magnum Madness followed by Black Friday and the return of the Black By Black wines, so popular last year. Then it’s the Cyber Mondeuse Monday Deal. In early December there will be amazing wine bundles, gift packs, and cases.  

Make sure to pay particular attention to our emails so you don’t miss out on the next featured offering!

Holiday Shipping Deadlines

Remember deadlines. The carriers will be overwhelmed the closer to the holiday, and Ground Service packages can take a day more or so to arrive. Make sure the recipient is someone of age and available to sign for the package. Thinking about it but know you’ll forget? Place your order early for shipment later. You’ll have peace of mind knowing your package will arrive in time.

Thanksgiving 2023 Shipping Deadline Estimates: 

  • West Coast: Order by 11/15
  • Mountain: Order by 11/13
  • Central & East Coast: Order by 11/11

Christmas 2023 Shipping Deadline Estimates: 

  • West Coast: Order by 12/17
  • Mountain: Order by 12/14
  • Central & East Coast: Order by 12/12

Please allow up to 2 days to process. You will receive an email notification when your order is shipped. Shipping addresses in remote areas may take longer.

Need in a hurry? Consider Second Day and Overnight options.

the ultimate wine gift

A glass of red wine is poured into an ABC logoed wine glass.

Give the gift that keeps giving year-round, with the purchase of a one-year Au Bon Climat wine club membership. Not only will your gift-giving for every holiday be covered, it will make each day special as they drink the wine. The recipient will receive four shipments for the year and have access to all the wine club benefits. Choose from three different clubs, 3, 6 and 12 bottle. Customize further designating mixed red and white, all red or all white. The giftee will receive a special, commemorating card with your name as the giver. To purchase, fill out the new wine club membership form on the web. Want to talk to someone personally? Contact Nicole Wasserman directly at wineclub@aubonclimat.com or call (805) 883-8165.

LIVE MUSIC SUNDAYS

June 2023 – December 2023

Since June, Live Music Sundays have been filling our Sundays with soulful tunes. We started with captivating Jazz, swayed to the rhythms of Bossa Nova, and rocked out with Santa Barbara’s own Will Breman.

And the party continues! Join us every other Sunday from 3-5 PM until the end of the year for more incredible live performances.

Recent Scores & Reviews

“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

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...

Check out our top scores featured in our blog post here…

September 2023 Wine Club Newsletter

The Latest from Au Bon Climat

Scroll through for the latest news and updates from Au Bon Climat including a special experience shared by Isabelle Clendenen, a delicious family recipe from our Tasting Room Manager, Wiktoria, and an update on Harvest 2023! And as always, find the tasting notes and details for the wines featured in your September Wine Club Shipment below!

Click THE IMAGES BELOW to view our featured content & SCROLL FOR MORE INFORMATION ON YOUR SEPTEMBER WINE CLUB SHIPMENT…

A SPECIAL OffeR…

September Bundle Special

In celebration of harvest, we are offering special pricing on a group of our ABC favorite wines. This selection truly represents the delicious style of Au Bon Climat. Take advantage of our Flat Rate Shipping and add on to make it a case!

RETAIL: $140
WINE CLUB MEMBERS: $120 (PLUS, RESPECTIVE WINE CLUB DISCOUNT!)

One Bottle Each Of the following:

2020 ABC Chardonnay Sanford & Benedict Vineyard “Santa Barbara Historical Vineyards Collection”

Exceptional – as usual! Spiced orchard fruits, citrus, toasty brioche as well as hints of nuttiness all emerge. The palate grips with crushed rock minerality giving frame to the stone fruit and citrus flavors.

2019 ABC Pinot Noir “La Bauge Au-dessus”

A wine of great aromatics and character showing black cherry/cranberry fruit, rose petal, earth and spice. Balance is the key to this wine – of oak and fruit – tannin and acid – elegance and intensity. 

2019 ABC Pinot Noir “Knox Alexander”

A fragrant, ethereal bouquet leads to 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.

Shipments will ship the week of September 11th. The deadline to add-on, or adjust your shipment ore ship date is August 30th by 5 pm. If you would like to add on outside of the wine club offering, please email wineclub@aubonclimat.com. Quantities are limited.

HOT WEATHER ADVISORY

Please advise (if you have not already) whether you would prefer to ship your September shipment along with your November allotment to avoid heat damage. If you see your package as ‘skipped’ in your portal, you will receive your September allotment with November. Once your order has entered our shipping department, ABC is no longer liable for heat-damaged packages.  

Included in this Shipment…

2021 Au Bon Climat Chardonnay, Los Alamos Vineyard, Santa Barbara Historic Vineyards Collection, Santa Barbara County

It was 1982 when Au Bon Climat made its first wine in a small barn at Los Alamos Vineyard and we have been making wine from them ever since. The vineyard is known for creating wines of texture and depth. The 2021 Chardonnay shows aromas of dried lemon, white flowers and grapefruit-peel with hints of apricot, coconut and oak. The palate surrounds a rounded almond flavor, with tart citrus and warm wood tones decorating the experience. It is layered with a luxuriously textured mouthfeel, bright acidity, and a clean finish.

2022 Au Bon Climat 80% Pinot Gris/20% Pinot Blanc, Santa Maria Valley

Harvested with low sugar and high acidity, the crisp Pinot Gris portion of the blend supplies the energy, while the Pinot Blanc delivers minerality and depth. Together they create a delightful, dry white that is immensely drinkable. The fresh fruit character of green apple, pear and nuances of apricot broadens on the palate. A wine of beautiful minerality and purity. Light and refreshing, it has enough body and intensity to pair with a wide range of cuisines.

2019 Au Bon Climat Chardonnay Bien Nacido Vineyard “K Block”, Santa Maria Valley

Bien Nacido is known for their Chardonnay, but K Block is particularly special. We felt it deserved its own bottling and the royal treatment. The fruit was hand harvested, whole cluster pressed, then barrel fermented and aged 20 months in new, custom crafted, 350-liter French oak barrels from François Frères. We use these barrels for only our best wines. The result is an impressive, rich, creamy Chardonnay that is voluptuous yet well defined. Sweet barrel spice mixes nicely with the baked apple, pear, and lemon curd fruit character. It is wonderfully balanced with nicely integrated acidity, and a great finish.

2020 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir Runway Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley

Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir characteristically has a very fragrant cherry, cranberry, rose petal and spice aroma, and firm structure. The fruit from Runway provides all that yet is richer and more intense. This expressive Pinot Noir has a core of red and black berries, and offers loads of spice with touches of licorice, cola and sagebrush. It is a well-structured, balanced, deeply colored wine with more richness and intensity than most. Round and plush, it is one of the more voluptuous, racy wines in style. Aged 24 months in French oak barrels, 50% new.

2019 Barham Mendelsohn Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley

This hails from a five acre vineyard that is organically farmed in the most meticulous fashion. The extraordinary fruit is hand harvested, sorted vigorously in the vineyard, and then trucked to the winery in the cool of the night arriving early morning. A long and slow fermentation in 5 ton open-top fermentors extracted pretty but complex Pinot flavors. It was aged for 20 months in François Frères French oak barrels, 33% new. This is a rich Pinot Noir with black cherry, cassis and cocoa flavors combined with notes of nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, and vanillin from the French oak barrels. Well integrated, silky and seductive, it’s a perfect match with lamb chops.

2019 Clendenen Family Nebbiolo “Bricco Buon Natale”, Santa Maria Valley

We have been creating Old World style Nebbiolo for over 20 years. It requires patience and commitment. Four years of barrel age has created a wine of refinement, depth and beautiful structure. Floral and berry aromas jump from the glass with secondary aromas of rose hip, orange zest, black currant, anise, dark cocoa just starting to develop. The intriguing bouquet is joined by dark cherry and plum fruit well integrated on the palate. There is a wonderful balance between the richness of fruit and complexity of age.

2018 Clendenen Family Petit Verdot, Estate Bien Nacido Plantings, Santa Maria Valley

Petit Verdot ripens so much later than the other Bordeaux varieties, it may seem surprising the varietal ripens so well at a cold vineyard like Bien Nacido. But it does. This is a beautifully layered, garnet colored wine that has the depth, structure and elegance of a highly ranked Bordeaux. Blackberry, boysenberry, and dark cherry fruit is upfront with back notes of sage and lavender. Tannins are firm and well stated. It is a balanced wine of refinement that will age for years to come.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…

LIVE MUSIC SUNDAYS IN THE TASTING ROOM

Every other Sunday the Tasting Room will host Live Music Sundays from 3 pm to 5 pm.  We put tastings on hold, so you can enjoy a glass of wine.  Club members’ discounts apply to glasses of wine.

2023 Summer Lineup for our Live Music Sundays