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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

May 2023 Wine Club Newsletter

The Latest from Au Bon Climat

Scroll through for the latest news and updates from Au Bon Climat including a delicious recipe from our Cellar Master, Enrique Rodriguez, read an interesting piece that will help you open your next “aged to perfection” bottle, plus meet our new Tasting Room Manager, Wiktoria! And as always, find the tasting notes and details for the wines featured in your May Wine Club Shipment below!

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

A SPECIAL ADD ON OffeR…

MAY Add-On SUGGESTIONS…

Our May Wine Club Shipment is particularly outstanding. Many are limited edition wines that will sell out quickly. You may just want to add on to your shipment and take advantage of our new rates!

We are excited about the two add-on specials being offered in addition to the wines in the club shipment.  While we have been making Mondeuse (Rosé) and Syrah (Syrah/Viognier) for decades, it is the first time creating them into 100% red varietal wines under the Clendenen Family label.

Clendenen Family 2018 Mondeuse (Noire) Bien Nacido Estate Plantings,
Santa Maria Valley $25

Great value! This offbeat, French varietal creates a delicious, juicy red wine with deep color and a berry/peppery flavor. Blackberry, plum, pomegranate appear up front, with nuances of clove and black olive on the back palette helping to create a savory and food-friendly wine. 

Clendenen Family 2018 Syrah “Z Block”, Bien Nacido Estate Plantings
Santa Maria Valley $75

This is an intensely purple, opaque wine with gobs of fruit suggesting crushed blackberries, fresh violets, and earthy spice from one of the great Syrah blocks in America. The palate is rich and structured with an amazingly deep Syrah character that makes this wine intriguing and worthy of aging for years to come.

DIRECTIONS: HOW TO ADD ON TO CLUB SHIPMENT 

Within your wine club shipment email, click on the Adjust Your Shipment button. On the next page, under the blue menu banner on top in the right corner, click on the button Edit Wines. Select the bottles you’d like to add, then click on Save Selection located on top. If you would like to add on wines outside of the wine club portal, please email us the selection, we will do our best to accommodate. You have now customized your shipment! To see the total breakdown, including shipping discount, click on TOTAL.  

Upcoming Events to Note In MAY…

ANNUAL Wine Club Pickup Party

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

All Club Members are welcome! Make your reservation today!

Included in this Shipment…

2018 Au Bon Climat Reserve Pinot Noir “Les Révélés” Lingua Franca Vineyard, Eola-Amity Hills, Oregon

We were fortunate to get fruit from the prestigious, estate vineyard of Lingua Franca located in Williamette Valley’s Eola-Amity Hills AVA, and set aside a few of our best barrels to create this Reserve. It is off-the-charts spectacular, loaded with crushed blackberry/cherry/blueberry fruit with intriguing nuances of anise, lavender, pink peppercorn, and oak vanillin. The underlying power and complexity are ‘under the surface’ currently, but will be apparent soon. Don’t miss out!

A picture of a red wine bottle - 2018 Au Bon Climat Reserve Pinot Noir "Les Révélés" Lingua Franca Vineyard, Eola-Amity Hills, Oregon
A picture of a white wine bottle - 2020 Au Bon Climat Chardonnay Sanford & Benedict Vineyard, Santa Barbara Historic Vineyard Collection. Sta. Rita Hills

2020 Au Bon Climat Chardonnay Sanford & Benedict Vineyard, Santa Barbara Historic Vineyard Collection. Sta. Rita Hills

Another exceptional wine from the first great vineyard in Santa Barbara County. Spiced orchard fruits, citrus, brioche, and toasty oak as well as hints of nuttiness all emerge in the glass. The palate grips with crushed rock minerality giving frame to the stone fruit and citrus flavors. Medium-bodied and well structured, 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.

The 2019 Au Bon Climat Chardonnay 34th Anniversary Celebration Sanford & Benedict Vineyard, Sta. Rita Hills

Welcoming aromas of macadamia nut, cream, sweet butter and orange zest are joined by flavors of coconut, cherimoya, and other creamy, white fleshed fruit backed by hints of cinnamon, nutmeg and minerality notes. Though a rich, opulent wine, it is focused and tight in style that should build nicely with bottle age.

A picture of a bottle of Chardonnay wine - The 2019 Au Bon Climat Chardonnay 34th Anniversary Celebration Sanford & Benedict Vineyard, Sta. Rita Hills
A picture of a bottle of Pinot Noir - 2019 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir “La Bauge Au-dessus” Santa Maria Valley

2019 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir “La Bauge Au-dessus” Santa Maria Valley

“La Bauge Au-dessus” translates as a “wild party upstairs.” A classic Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir, it is a wine of great aromatics and character showing cherry/cranberry fruit, rose petal, earth and spice. The key word is balance. A balance of oak and fruit, a balance of tannin and acid, and a balance of elegance and intensity. This delicious, Old World Burgundy style Pinot Noir does not compete with food but maximizes the dining experience by complimenting whatever is paired with it. The wine is crafted to have a more integrated structure and suppleness early on, making it enjoyable now, though it will continue to age handsomely.

2019 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir “Knox Alexander”, Santa Maria Valley

“Knox Alexander” Pinots represent the very best lots of Santa Maria Valley fruit we make each year. This wine does not disappoint. A fragrant, multi-layered 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. It is very focused on the palate, in a tight, racy style. Wonderful now but will reward those who age it for years to come.

A picture of a bottle of Pinot Noir - 2019 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir “Knox Alexander”, Santa Maria Valley
A picture of a bottle of red wine - 2017 Clendenen Family 90% Syrah/10% Viognier, Santa Barbara County

2017 Clendenen Family 90% Syrah/10% Viognier, Santa Barbara County

The Syrah and Viognier grapes were co-fermented, 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. This deeply colored wine has a gorgeous perfume of crushed blackberries, fresh violets, black pepper, and earthy spice that carries through to a rich, supple palate. Five years aging in 500-liter oak puncheons ensures it is imminently enjoyable now, and a perfect companion to hearty dishes like cassoulet or grilled pork chops.

2021 Clendenen Family Pinot Gris, Santa Maria Valley

This delightful 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.

A picture of a bottle of Pinot Gris - 2021 Clendenen Family Pinot Gris, Santa Maria Valley

Nicole’s Maternity Leave

A picture of Nicole Wasserman, our DTC Director, holding a glass of wine.

We are excited to announce that DTC Manager Nicole Wasserman is expecting her first child in May! With that being said, she will be on maternity leave from April-August. Wiktoria and Lily will be covering for her during those months. If you need to contact us regarding your membership, please email wineclub@aubonclimat.com.

Flat Rate Shipping – Good News!

Damn Amazon. Who doesn’t love free shipping? For small businesses, it’s prohibitively costly. With all its regulations and surcharges, it is nearly impossible for a winery to absorb the cost of shipping wine.

Shipping costs in the past year have exploded. We know, and you have told us how unhappy you are with the increased costs. We have explored many ways to reduce the shipping costs.

Good News! We have negotiated with our shipping company to dramatically reduce our shipping costs. We are seeing an average reduction of about 28%, and for some East Coast deliveries as much as a 45% reduction.

With these lower costs, we are implementing Flat Rate Shipping. Based on your delivery address, our shipping rates will be the same for 1-3 bottles, 4-6 bottles or 7 – 12 bottles. This rate will be used for Wine Club shipments and wines ordered off our website.

A UPS driver speeds by delivering packages.

February 2023 Wine Club Newsletter

The Latest from Au Bon Climat

Scroll through for latest news and updates from Au Bon Climat including a great recipe to pair with your favorite Pinots, an update from the vineyard in regard to our recent rainfall, a special add-on offer… plus tasting notes and details for the wines featured in your February Wine Club Shipment! Enjoy our February Wine Club Newsletter!

A SPECIAL ADD ON OffeR…

February Add-On Special: ENJOY 50% OFF TOTAL SHIPPING

“Best of 2017” Six Bottle Bundle 

We have selected six wines that stand out from the 2017 vintage, representing different styles, and that have multiple scores in the 90s. Add this bundle to your club shipment and get 50% OFF total shipping! To do this you will need to adjust your shipment by February 6th. The directions are straightforward and provided below…

2017 Au Bon Climat Chardonnay 32nd Vintage Celebration Sanford & Benedict

This truly regal wine is made for those that appreciate creamy, richly textured Chardonnays. There is lots of buttered citrus, orchard fruits and slight pineapple notes as well as spice, toasty oak. It is focused and precise on the palate, has good mid-palate depth, and outstanding length. Scored 95 points Wine Enthusiast; 93 points Jeb Dunnuck; 92 points Wine & Spirits Magazine.

2017 Clendenen Family Chardonnay Bien Nacido Vineyard

A knockout – rich, creamy, balanced. For this limited edition Chard, the finest lots of Bien Nacido fruit were barrel fermented in super expensive, custom-made Francois Freres barrels. The style is more complex and intense than our ABC counterpart. Scored 95 points Antonio Galloni’s Vinous; 93 points Jeb Dunnuck; 93 points Wine & Spirits Magazine.

2017 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir “Isabelle”

Our richest, most heralded Pinot begins with aromas of mulled berries and blossoms with a touch of tobacco and earth. The center delivers a luminous raspberry sweetness that grows in lift and expression as it opens. Scored 96 points Wine Enthusiast Magazine, 92 points Wine & Spirits Magazine.

2017 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir Los Alamos Vineyard

This single vineyard Pinot delivers depth. The 2017 is a rich, meaty red with a dense fruit character showing earthy, berry aromas joined by mouth-filling flavors of plum and bitter chocolate on the palate. Aged 18 months in french oak barrels, one third new. Scored 91 points & Best Buy from Wine & Spirits Magazine.

2017 Barham Mendelsohn Pinot Noir

Pinot from this region has a signature spice. When meticulously grown, organic fruit meets stellar winemaking, the result is a sophisticated, beautifully balanced red showing racy, deep berry fruit, and an intriguing Oriental spice character that is mouth-filling.

2017 Black By Black (Bordeaux Blend)

This is a Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot showing a classic dark berry character with back notes of sage and tobacco. Aged about 24 months in barrel, it received all the necessary TLC in the cellar to create a dark, rich red that has benefited from bottle age.

DIRECTIONS: HOW TO ADD ON TO CLUB SHIPMENT 

Within your wine club shipment email, click on the Adjust Your Shipment button. On the next page, under the blue menu banner on top in the right corner, click on the button Edit Wines. Select the February Add-On Bundle, 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

Upcoming Events to Note…

Au BOn Climat at World Of Pinot Noir 

This elite three day event is held at the prestigious Ritz-Carlton Bacara in Santa Barbara includes luncheons, spectacular themed dinners, 2 days of Grand Tastings, must-see seminars, and an Opening Night Party – whew! Get your tickets now! Some events have already sold out. As of this writing, Friday and Saturday Grand Tasting tickets are available. Au Bon Climat will be participating in Saturday’s Grand Tasting. We always have something intriguing. See you there!

Special Pinot Noir Flight at THE Tasting Room

In honor of World of Pinot Noir, our tasting room will be pouring a special Pinot Noir flight that weekend. Make a reservation here.

SAVE THE DATE: Wine Club Pickup Party

A wonderful afternoon in wine country! The perfect Mother’s Day adventure. Includes a memorable luncheon, wine tasting stations, and special wines for sale including The Bargain Table. Each membership can invite 3 guests, for a total of 4. All club members are welcome! Reservations will go live April 1st.

Included in this Shipment…

2020 Au Bon Climat Chardonnay, “Nuits Blanches au Bouge – Hindsight”, Santa Maria Valley

Another brilliant version of this wine with textbook Chardonnay notes of pear, ripe stone fruits, caramelized lemons, chalky minerality, and toasted spice. Aged in new French oak barrels for 18 months, it’s medium-bodied and balanced, with a great mid-palate as well as impressive length. Each vintage this wine gets new designation. “Hindsight” was a natural with the 2020 vintage. 

2020 Au Bon Climat Chardonnay, Bien Nacido Vineyard – Santa Barbara Historic Vineyard Collection, Santa Maria Valley

The aroma immediately reveals this is obviously Chardonnay made in an Old World style. Tightly woven aromas of nectarine and peach are clean and delicate on the nose of this single-vineyard showcase. A chalky backbone holds up the palate, where creamier subtle notes of gardenia and coconut arise. Scored 93 points Wine Enthusiast Magazine.

2020 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir “Isabelle”

A blend of our top Pinot barrels from different vineyard sources, the Isabelle Pinot is Au Bon Climat’s most highly regarded. It is a bright and effusive wine with tons of aromatic presence and fine balance. Sweet red cherry fruit, orange peel, spice, and dried herbs open first, followed by a host of perfumed floral notes that lead into the mid-palate and finish. Silky and quite elegant, all it really needs time in the bottle to come into its own.

2020 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir Los Alamos Vineyard – Santa Barbara Historic Vineyard Collection, Santa Barbara County

True to Los Alamos wine region, this Pinot has a dense, straight forward fruit character. Aromas of ripe cherry/red berries are joined on the palate by nuances of forest floor, bitter chocolate, cola and vanilla that mesh to create a beautifully balanced wine that is enjoyable now but will develop for years to come. Aged 18 months in new French oak barrels.

2019 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir, Lala Panzi Vineyard, Russian River Valley

This organically grown Pinot is luscious, feminine, pretty, aromatic…it tastes like the Russian River Valley. Along with the red berry/cranberry fruit character, this lovely wine shows an amazing array of aromas and flavors – Chinese five spices, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cardamom, followed with a balanced vanillin note from 50% new French Oak barrels.

2021 Grenache Gris, Rancho La Cuna, Santa Barbara County

Grenache Gris has its origins in the south of France. Our version is an easy drinking, dry white that has massive appeal, with structure and flavors not unlike an expensive White Hermitage with its restrained stone fruit character and mineral backbone. From Clendenen estate in Los Alamos, the fruit is barrel fermented and aged briefly 8 months in neutral french oak.

2018 Grenache, Rancho La Cuna, Santa Barbara County

A beautifully balanced but structured Grenache with whimsical berry and earth notes in the nose followed by deeper berry and spice notes on the palate. Only a few barrels made of this wine.

AU BON CLIMAT Q&A…

Q: How is the rainy, winter weather affecting the vines in your area?

Simply put, for the most part, welcome! California has been in a drought for many years which has concentrated the salt deposits in the soil to a level where it was becoming toxic. Salts in soil contain important micronutrients, but some—like sodium, chloride and boron—carry a toxic punch if left to accumulate. The ocean influence in the geology of Santa Barbara along with a drier climate makes this a concern particularly for growers here. With the needed rain, the salts are flushed, or leached, and necessary salts and minerals spread out for a more balanced growing environment. The intense rains have recharged drought-thirsty aquifers and water tables have revitalized the vines. If only the rains could have come over a longer, less intense period…

We have also had some nice frosty weather providing good chill hours for dormancy. In addition, bugs and pests don’t survive as well in the cold. This contributes to a healthy bud break.

November 2022 Wine Club Newsletter

The Latest from Au Bon Climat

We are excited to share our first digital newsletter with our loyal wine club members! Scroll through to see what we’ve been up to lately at Au Bon Climat, including special accounts of Harvest 2022, new limited time offerings and of course, what to expect for your November 2022 Wine Shipment. As always, we are grateful for your support over the years! Cheers!

Upcoming Events to Note

November 25th-27 Library Weekend
November Library Weekend

The tasting room will have a special library flight featuring older vintages of “family” wines such as Knox and Isabelle Pinots. They will be for sale too! Wine Club library tasting fee: $25; General library tasting fee: $35. Every $100 spent waives one tasting fee.

December 9th-11th Holiday Celebration Weekend
Holiday Celebration Weekend

Shop local! We have specially priced wine packages and half bottles of Pinot stocking stuffers. Knox and Isabelle Clendenen will be on hand Sunday, Dec. 11 to sign bottles. There will be new ABC merchandise in stock, including hoodies and the limited edition 40th anniversary baseball caps.

january 14th-15 jim clendenen birthday celebration
Jim’s Birthday Celebration

It’s Jim Clendenen’s birthday month and we are planning to celebrate! Great wines will abound! Come dressed as the man himself. Loud, colorful, outrageous tee-shits or Hawaiian shirts encouraged and we’ll have a new ABC logo Hawaiian shirt in stock to shop for the occasion – Jim would approve! 

Included in this Shipment

Wine Club Shipping Costs Commercial shipping cost, across the board, has had hefty increases – twice this year. We work diligently to find the best service at the least expensive cost for you. Consequently, we will be using UPS going forward for club shipments. We have they found UPS better at getting shipments to their destination in a timely fashion. Contact us with any concerns.

2020 Au Bon Climat Hildegard Estate White Blend, Santa Maria Valley

2020 Au Bon Climat Hildegard Estate White Blend, Santa Maria Valley

The 2020 is a distinctive blend of 50% Pinot Gris, 45% Pinot Blanc and 5% Aligoté and gets the best of everything including extra barrel time in all new François Frères french oak. It has a texture, complexity, and distinctiveness that cannot be found in a single white wine varietal. The lovely aroma apple and pear along with vanillin and hazelnuts notes from the oak, and a mouth-coating richness, makes for a wine that seems like Chardonnay. Positively regal. Scored 94 points/Editor’s Choice Wine Enthusiast, 93 points Vinous, 93 points Jeb Dunnuck.

2021 Clendenen Family Chenin Blanc, Rancho La Cuna, Santa Barbara County

2021 Clendenen Family Chenin Blanc, Rancho La Cuna, Santa Barbara County

The 2021 is the fourth vintage of Chenin Blanc from vines at Rancho La Cuna planted eight years ago. This is a dry, friendly white showing classic quince and crisp apple-like flavors that are beautifully stated. Barrel fermentation in neutral french oak barrels until dry, compliments the intriguing minerality and firm acidity.

2018 Clendenen Family Chardonnay, Le Bon Climat, Santa Maria Valley

2018 Clendenen Family Chardonnay, Le Bon Climat, Santa Maria Valley

It is one of the finest Chardonnays we produce year after year. Bright citrus, apple blossom, spicy oak, and some chalky minerality all emerge from this wine. Beautifully balanced, classic, impeccably made. It has plenty of density and concentration, nicely integrated acidity, and a great finish. Enjoy now or put in the cellar. Score 94 points Antonio Galloni’s Vinous; 94 points Wine & Spirits Magazine; 94 Wine Enthusiast; 93 Jeb Dunnuck.

2019 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir, Sanford & Benedict Vineyard, Sta. Rita Hills

2019 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir, Sanford & Benedict Vineyard, Sta. Rita Hills

From this great historic vineyard, we select grapes from one of the “old vine, own rooted” sections at Sanford and Benedict. Hand picking, a cold extended soak and a slower fermentation, along with 50% whole cluster increased the fruit driven aromas and flavors extracted from the grapes. It was aged for 20 months in French oak, 50% new barrels. As usual, this is a wonderful expression of this vineyard. So many aromas slowly rise out of the glass: strawberry compote, coffee, cola, and black licorice are just a few of the many and constantly evolving elements in the bouquet. Scored 94 Robert Parker; 93 points Wine & Spirits Magazine; 93 points Wine Enthusiast; 92+ points Jeb Dunnuck; 92 points Vinous.

2018 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir, “Larmes de Grappe”, Sta. Rita Hills

2018 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir, “Larmes de Grappe”, Sta. Rita Hills

Our 2018 Larmes de Grappe is from a special section of old vine Pinot Noir grown at Sanford and Benedict Vineyard. The wine received all the TLC it needed to earn the “tears of the grape” adage. This included 100% whole cluster fermentation and 100% new French oak, specially made 350 liter barrels, where it aged for two years. The wine is a deep crimson and shows a wild strawberry and red berry character backed by judicious oak. The flavors seem to last forever along with an elegant mouthfeel.  Scored 93 points Wine & Spirits Magazine; 93 points Wine Enthusiast. 

2018 Clendenen Family Pinot Noir, Rancho La Cuna, Santa Barbara County

2018 Clendenen Family Pinot Noir, Rancho La Cuna, Santa Barbara County

The Clendenen Family Pinots have a lot “goin’ on”. This wine is striking in the glass, a very clear and dark red that is a result of good winemaking and great raw material. It is supple, elegant and so well balanced that the many varied flavors coexist harmoniously all in one wine. This wine starts with aromas of green tea, black tea, pomegranate and cherries. The accompanying flavors are of red licorice, clove, tea and chocolate covered cherries. It is a stately, balanced wine. Scored 94 points Wine Enthusiast; 92 points Wine & Spirits Magazine, 92 points Vinous, 90+ points Jeb Dunnuck.

2018 Barham Mendelsohn Pinot Noir, Estate Grown, Russian River Valley

2018 Barham Mendelsohn Pinot Noir, Estate Grown, Russian River Valley

The fruit hails from the organically farmed Lala Panzi Vineyard in the Russian River Valley known for their racy Pinot Noirs.  We sort vigorously in the vineyard and ferment slowly to extract pretty Pinot flavors. It is a rich Pinot Noir with black cherry, cassis and cocoa flavors that are beautifully balanced and necessary to allow it to age perfectly. Nuances of Chinese five spices, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cardamom, are followed with a balanced vanillin note from the new French oak barrels. 

Special HolidaY Offerings

A sneak peak at a few of our special offerings in honor of the Holiday season. Get ahead on your holiday shopping, email Nicole at wineclub@aubonclimat.com to purchase…

Candy Cane Pack

One bottle each 2021 Au Bon Climat Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara County | $46

Historic Vineyard Gift Set

One bottle each 2019 Au Bon Climat Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Sanford & Benedict Vineyard | $85

Three Kings

One bottle each Au Bon Climat 2019 Pinot Noir Knox Alexander, 2020 Pinot Noir Isabelle, and 2018 Chardonnay Nuits-Blanches au Bouge | $166

The Ultimate: Santa’s Deluxe Gift Set

One bottle each Au Bon Climat 2018 Pinot Noir Lames de Grappe, 2019 Pinot Noir Knox Alexander, 2020 Pinot Noir Isabelle, 2020 Hildegard, 2018 Chardonnay Nuits-Blanches au Bouge, 2018 Chardonnay 33rd Vintage Celebration Sanford & Benedict Vineyard | $350

FYI: Shipping Schedule for the Holidays Last year, we experienced shipping delays due to COVID. Unfortunately, this year will likely bring delays as well. Ground shipping deadline is Friday, December 14th for delivery before December 25th. Please plan accordingly. 

"Shop Our Holiday Gift Sets" over an image of two Au Bon Climat bottles in front of a fireplace with a Christmas tree in the background