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.

The Monte Cristo Sandwich

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

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

Suggested Pairing: Los Alamos Pinot Noir

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

Ingredients:

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

Procedure:

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

Unwrap the Magic of the Season

Au Bon Climat’s Exclusive Holiday Case Specials

As the holiday season approaches, we invite you to elevate your celebrations with Au Bon Climat Winery’s exceptional wines. Our exclusive case specials are designed to add a touch of sophistication to your festivities, making every moment memorable. Take advantage of these limited-time offers! Whether you’re planning a festive gathering or looking for the perfect gift, we have the ideal package for you.

Act fast! Holiday Shipping deadlines are rapidly approaching!

  • East Coast: 5-7 day ground delivery. Order by 12/15
  • Central: 2-4 day ground delivery. Order by 12/17 
  • Mountain: 2-3 day ground delivery. Order by 12/20
  • West Coast: 1-2 day ground delivery. Order by 12/21

Holiday Party Case

Simplify your holiday celebrations with this bundle of easy-to-enjoy wines. Perfectly suited for sharing with friends and family during holiday parties. Each sip is a journey through the vineyards, bringing people together in the spirit of celebration.

  • 3 x 2020 Pinot Gris
  • 3 x 2020 G-15
  • 3 x 2019 Tocai Friulano
  • 3 x 2019 “Pip” Red Blend
$275.00 $258.00

Timeless Tastes & Traditions

Classic elegance for the holidays! Embrace the holiday spirit with this delightful bundle of Pinots and Chardonnays. Thoughtfully curated for classic wine enthusiasts. Elevate your celebrations and uphold cherished traditions with these timeless and tasteful selections.

  • 3 x 2021 Los Alamos Chardonnay
  • 3 x 2020 Los Alamos Pinot Noir
  • 3 x 2019 La Bauge
  • 3 x 2020 Bien Nacido Chardonnay
$450.00 $420.00

THE SaNTA LUXE CASE

Indulge in premium Pinots and Chardonnays without lifting a finger. Treat yourself to the best as we deliver these luxurious labels straight to your doorstep. Santa Luxe is perfect for those who prefer to savor their wines in style and comfort. Elevate your holiday experience with these exquisite selections.

  • 3 x 2019 “Larmes de Grappe” Pinot Noir
  • 3 x 2020 “Isabelle” Pinot Noir
  • 3 x 2019 Le Bon Climat Chardonnay
  • 3 x 2021 “Hildegard”
$765.00 $730.00

Order Now and Make Your Holidays Unforgettable!

Secure your Holiday Party Pack, Timeless Tastes & Traditions, or Santa Luxe today. Enjoy specially priced cases plus plus, wine club discounts!

Don’t miss the opportunity to bring the magic of Au Bon Climat Winery to your holiday celebrations. Order now and toast to the joy of the season with exceptional wines that embody the spirit of craftsmanship and tradition.

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…

Chicken Gaston Gérard

Yet another kitchen disaster made good in the name of invention. The recipe was created in 1930 by the wife of the Deputy Mayor of Dijon, Gaston Gérard. She was cooking for an esteemed guest, Maurice Edmond Sailland, AKA Curnonsky, a celebrated food writer dubbed The Prince of Gastronomy. Gravity intervened and she accidentally dumped a load of paprika into the chicken dish Madame Gérard was cooking. To rectify it she added crème fraiche, white wine and a dollop of mustard. Curnonsky loved it, and he named the dish after his host. It is now a Dijon classic.

Suggested Pairing: While Chardonnay and our Hildegard Estate White share similar traits, Hildegard has a more expressive fruit character and crispness that makes it incredibly food compatible. Its velvety mouthfeel and bright citrus notes are a heavenly pair with creamy, rich chicken dishes.

Ingredients:

  • 6 chicken breasts
  • 3 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/4 cups dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ¾ cup Crème Fraiche (or sour cream if creme fraiche is unavailable)
  • 3/4 cup grated Comté or Gruyère cheese
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme (optional), leaves removed and chopped
  • 3 Tbsp dry breadcrumbs

Procedure:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Salt and pepper the chicken pieces. Heat oil & butter in skillet until butter is sizzling and frothy. Brown the chicken breasts; about 3-4 minutes each side.
  3. Transfer the chicken to a baking dish and then place in the oven to finish cooking, about 10-15 minutes. 
  4. In the same skillet, sauté the shallot until golden then add white wine, simmering until wine is reduced by about half. Lower the heat and add to it the creme fraiche, mustard, thyme and paprika and let simmer a few minutes more.
  5. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Sprinkle with grated cheese then top with breadcrumbs.
  6. Return to oven to warm chicken and melt cheese.
  7. Serve immediately with a baguette (or wild rice), mixed green salad and a glass of Hildegard.

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

Mom’s Heartwarming Spin on Hungarian Lecso/Lecho/Leczo

The Perfect Comforting Stew for Cool Evenings From WikToria

Wiktoria Marroquin at Au Bon Climat Winery

As the cold raindrops gently tap on the window pane and a soft breeze whispers through the trees, there’s nothing quite like the comforting embrace of a warm bowl of Hungarian lecso. This cherished family recipe has been passed down through generations, and it holds a special place in our hearts. Today, I’m excited to share my family’s Polish spin on this classic Hungarian stew – a dish that my Mom used to lovingly prepare on cold rainy days, making it the best comforting meal ever. Let’s dive into the heartwarming world of our Hungarian lecso!

Ingredients:

  • 4 red peppers
  • 2 zucchinis 
  • vegetable broth
  • 1 big yellow onion
  • kielbasa (you can get a real deal one at Euro Market in Goleta, the best one is from Pulaski Meat)
  • 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes 
  • salt 
  • pepper

Procedure:

  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Best Served: The Next Day
Prepare the Ingredients:

Start by washing the red peppers and zucchini thoroughly. Slice the bell peppers into thin strips, and the zucchinis into half-moons. Set them aside.

Create the Flavorful Base:

In a large pot, add some olive oil and sauté the onion until it becomes translucent and slightly caramelized. This is the foundation of our stew, adding a hint of sweetness and depth of flavor. Take your time with this step to get it just right.

Add the Peppers and Zucchini:

Once the onion is ready, add the sliced red peppers to the pot. Let them cook for a few minutes until they start to soften. Then, add the zucchini and continue to sauté for another 5 minutes, allowing the flavors to mingle.

Introduce the Kielbasa:

Now comes the star of our spin of lecso – the kielbasa! The most famous thing in Poland. My personal favorite is when my brother makes one from scratch but when you are an immigrant you deal with what you can find, right? Cut the kielbasa into bite-sized pieces and add them to the pot. Their smoky richness will infuse the stew with a delightful savory note.

Pour in the Crushed Tomatoes:

Open the 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes and carefully pour its contents into the pot. The tangy sweetness of the tomatoes will complement the other ingredients, creating a harmonious balance of flavors.

Season to Perfection:

Season the stew with salt and pepper to taste. Keep in mind that the kielbasa can add some saltiness, so go easy on the salt at first, and you can always adjust later.

Simmer Slowly:

Now, it’s time to let the magic happen. Pour in the vegetable broth and 3 cups of water until all the ingredients are just covered. Bring the stew to a gentle simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and let it simmer for at least an hour (I do 2-3 hours), stirring occasionally.

Patience Is Rewarded:

After the long, slow simmer, your Hungarian lecso will have transformed into a comforting stew with layers of rich flavors. But trust me, the patience is worth it! The next day, the flavors will have melded even further, creating a symphony of taste that will leave you wanting more.

Enjoy & Share the Love:

Serve the lecso in deep bowls and savor the heartwarming goodness with your loved ones. Don’t forget some crusty bread on the side to soak up the flavorful broth. Share stories, laughter, and the love that goes into making this treasured family recipe.

There’s something magical about the way a comforting stew can bring warmth to your soul, especially on cold evenings. Our family’s spin on Hungarian lecso has been a source of joy and comfort for generations, passed down from my Mom’s kitchen to ours (my American husband is addicted to this leczo). As you take your first spoonful of this heartwarming dish, you’ll feel the love and care that goes into each and every bowl. So, on those cool evenings when you crave a warm and comforting meal, give our Polish-Hungarian lecso a try. It’s not just a stew; it’s a taste of family tradition and the best kind of comfort food.

Sip and See: How Wines Can Accompany Films

Dean Handy from te Au Bon Climat Tasting Room

As cliché as it may sound, uncorking a bottle of wine presents a moment of opportunity. While wine can be enjoyed entirely standalone, it is typically accompanied by food, conversation, music, and sometimes movies. Wine and entertainment have had an intertwining relationship since Greek theater, so it seems only natural that sometimes sipping a wine leads to slipping into a story. 

Any bottle could be enjoyed with any film, but for the sake of experiment, I wanted to find out which Au Bon Climat wines could be elevated by fine cinema, and vice versa. I have chosen three wines that I believe structurally and thematically lend themselves to the experience and pleasure of cracking open a bottle and settling on the couch in front of the screen. Each wine will be paired with a film from its vintage date to establish a sense of time and the cultural conditions under which these wines and films were produced. Wine and film are both works of art that require intention, craftsmanship, and understanding. It makes almost too much sense to enjoy these arts together for a deeper appreciation of the relationship and synergy that exists between wine and storytelling.

Movie: Whiplash (2014) 

Wine: Clendenen Family Vineyards 2014 “Punta Exclamativa” Nebbiolo

a bottle of Clendenen Family Vineyards 2014 “Punta Exclamativa” Nebbiolo being held in front of a screen playing the movie "Whiplash" from 2014

Jim Clendenen perfectly encapsulates the essence of his 2014 Nebbiolo with his subtitle “Punta Excalativa”, which means ‘exclamation point’ when translated from Italian. On the palate, the wine is soft, structured, pronounced, and lingering. The nose, while initially intense with aromas of spice and whiskey barrels, slowly turns into beautiful dark fruit. The journey of this Nebbiolo as it goes from fierce and powerful to soft and harmonious parallels the story one finds in Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash. The film follows Andrew Teller, a first-year music student who plays the drums and hopes to land a spot in a highly-competitive music conservatory. Throughout the film, Andrew is pushed to his limits by his music instructor in an intense and unforgiving fashion, but by the end of the film, the viewer is left to consider whether or not these extreme conditions are necessary to produce high art. The whole film is accompanied by punchy jazz that does not let up, similar to the story that unfolds. 

Whiplash is a film that has a pronounced point to make, even if it is not immediately apparent in the chaotic and fast-paced structure of the film’s beginning. Enjoying a glass of “Punta Exclamativa” while watching this film will reveal how intense care and dedication to one’s craft can result in a complex multi-layered end product. Both the film and wine trace how a product of art necessitates time, dedication, and understanding to result in one point of exclamation– a point that remains lingering on the mind and palette of the viewer and drinker. 

Movie: Baby Driver (2017) 

Wine: Clendenen Family Vineyards 2017 Syrah/Viognier 

a glass of Clendenen Family Vineyards 2017 Syrah/Viognier being held in front of a screen playing the movie "Baby Driver" from 2017

If the feeling one gets from Syrah/Viognier and the film Baby Driver could be captured in one word, it would be style. The Syrah and Viognier are grown together at the Rancho La Cuna property and then co-fermented, a practice seen in the Rhône region. The best part about pouring Syrah/Viognier in the tasting room is the surprise guests get when learning about the stylish and unique practices that go into the bottle. Surprise and style are also elements one can detect on the palate, as the interaction between these somewhat opposing grape varietals works magnificently. The pepper and medium body one expects from Syrah is reined in by the supple richness of the Viognier, resulting in an unexpected mix of blackberry, cream, and earth tones. 

Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver follows the structure of Syrah/Viognier in the sense that surprise and style are at the forefront of the film. The movie follows Baby, a getaway driver who works for a heist crew, but Wright inserts a stylish plot device, as Baby is unable to perform his best unless a killer soundtrack is pumping through his earbuds. Another fundamental component of the film is the fast-paced, yet carefully crafted dialogue which makes the film not only fun but complex. Uncorking a bottle of Syrah/Viognier and firing up Baby Driver is a combination that will not let you down. Surprise, fun, style, and cleverness are tenants of both this wine and film and will leave you wanting a sequel… and another bottle. 

Movie: Us (2019) 

Wine: Au Bon Climat 2019 Sanford and Benedict Pinot Noir

a bottle of Au Bon Climat 2019 Sanford and Benedict Pinot Noir being held in front of a screen playing the movie "Us" from 2019

Jim Clendenen demonstrates his masterclass winemaking practices with one of the last vintages he produced in his 2019 Sanford and Benedict Pinot Noir. Simply put, it is a deep and dark iteration of a pinot noir that keeps you engaged with a sense of balance and thought-provoking complexity. Similarly, Us is an attentive and grippy horror film that has the viewer leaning into the thought of a dark and hidden world. The makeup of the film tracks the structure and practices of the wine, as the Sanford grapes are fermented 50% whole cluster and spend 20 months in 50% new french oak to unlock a rigorous smoky profile from these pinot grapes. This results in one of Jim’s most unique takes on the pinot noir varietal, one that asks you to look at pinot noir from a new perspective. 

Jordan Peele’s Us is his sophomore film as a horror movie director, and it leans heavily into themes of an unearthed reality. These themes are accentuated by Peele’s clever use of lighting, shadow, and color which are pervasive throughout the film. Since the film hinges on the viewer finding this dark and hidden world on their own a plot synopsis will not be provided, but one can guarantee it will be engaging. Drinking 2019 Sanford and Benedict Pinot Noir when viewing this film is undoubtedly a complimentary experience. Both the wine and the film ask the viewer to be engaged, questioning, and thoughtful, Furthermore, the deep nature of each art piece begs the enjoyer to ultimately lean fully into a world that had not previously crossed their mind.

— Dean Handy, Au Bon Climat Tasting Room

Immerse yourself in the world of wine and cinema with these thoughtfully curated pairings. Don’t miss the chance to elevate your movie nights and experience the enchanting synergy of wine and storytelling. You can purchase these exceptional wines for your own ‘Sip and See’ experience in our online store. From the intense journey of the Clendenen Family Vineyards 2014 ‘Punta Exclamativa’ Nebbiolo, mirroring the transformation of ‘Whiplash,’ to the stylish surprise of the Clendenen Family Vineyards 2017 Syrah/Viognier, perfectly complementing ‘Baby Driver,’ and the deep complexity of the Au Bon Climat 2019 Sanford and Benedict Pinot Noir resonating with the gripping horror of ‘Us.’ Be sure to let us know if you have any suggestions for our next installment of ‘Sip and See.’ Cheers to the delightful pairing of fine wines and captivating films!

Santa Barbara Farmers Market, A Perfect Pairing

You can find Lily Jones in the Santa Barbara tasting room of Au Bon Climat Winery

What better wine pairing than with fresh produce from our local farmers? Lining State Street on Tuesday afternoons, just around the corner from the tasting room, the Santa Barbara Farmers Market is an excellent jaunt. 

A bottle of 2019 Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir by Au Bon Climat - "La Bauge Au-dessus" sitting amongst small baskets of fresh tomatoes at the Santa Barbara Farmers Market

Frecker Farms tomatoes are the freshest heirloom and cherry tomatoes around. Just look at those colors! An excellent pairing with La Bauge Au Dessus Pinot, consider charring the tomatoes on the grill or having them fresh with burrata and balsamic glaze.

Shop the 2019 Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir – “La Bauge Au-dessus”

A bottle of 2020 Santa Ynez Valley, Sanford & Benedict Chardonnay by Au Bon Climat sitting on a checkered tablecloth with bundles of santa barbara farmers market radishes behind

What a plentiful stand Jimenez Family Farm has- from radishes and turnips to rhubarb pie! This pairing couldn’t get more French- try a spicy radish, lathered in butter and a sprinkle of flaky salt, with our 2020 Sanford Chardonnay.

Shop the 2020 Sanford & Benedict Chardonnay

a bottle of 2019 Clendenen Family Vineyards Tocai Friulano standing in the midst of hundreds of fresh peaches at the Santa Barbara Farmers Market

Peach season is finally here! No better way to pair a fresh stone fruit than with a wine that is so reminiscent of them. Try the Tocai Friulano with a peach crumble, or a fresh peach and mint salad. Say hello to James at the Fair Hills Farms stand, and compliment him on his photography skills (shown above).

Shop the 2019 Tocai Friulano

a bottle of Clendenen Family Vineyards 2021 Pinot Gris sitting on a blue table cloth with small baskets of ripe figs around at the Santa Barbara Farmers Market

These figs from Avila and Sons Farms Figs are a perfect snack on a hot day drizzled with honey, paired with a glass of 2021 Pinot Gris. Preferably sitting on a patio with a good view or a great book.

Shop the 2021 Pinot Gris

a bottle of 2022 Mondeuse Rosé by Clendenen Family Vineyards standing on a polk-a-dot table with stacks of fresh pies around from Jimenez Family Farms in white boxes and small pie tins at the Santa Barbara Farmers Market

Our tasting room manager Wiktoria loves rhubarb. She also loves the 2022 Mondeuse Rosé. She feels there may be no greater match than our rosé with the Marcie’s Rhubarb Pie from Jimenez Family Farms. Please share with loved ones. And Wiktoria.

Shop the 2022 Mondeuse Rosé

No greater backdrop than fresh flowers! Visit Roots Organic Farm and treat yourself to some gorgeous marigolds, corn flowers, pea flowers, snapdragons, lavender, you name it! The visual sense is crucial to our palates, and fresh flowers enhance the joie de vivre that our wines create.

Shop the 2019 Tocai Friulano & the 2021 Pinot Gris

— Lily, Au Bon Climat Tasting Room

As the sun sets on the bustling Santa Barbara Farmers Market, we are reminded of the inherent connection between nature’s bounty and the art of winemaking. The symphony of flavors that emanates from our wines finds its perfect accompaniment in the freshest, locally sourced produce and the beauty of vibrant flowers. We invite you to immerse yourself in this delightful pairing experience, celebrating the essence of our region’s agriculture, craftsmanship, and community spirit. Join us at our tasting room, where each sip of wine harmonizes with the abundance of nature, creating an unforgettable sensory journey that truly captures the spirit of Santa Barbara. Come, raise your glass, and toast to the perfect pairing of the Santa Barbara Farmers Market and our exceptional wines. Cheers!

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.