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!


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.


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.


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