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Au Bon Climat

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The Family of Wines

Au Bon Climat

An homage to the wines of Burgundy, Au Bon Climat features many renditions of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Blanc, with balance and character critical elements in every wine. These wines age beautifully because of their balance and restraint. There are three tiers within the Au Bon Climat brand.

1. Blue Series:  Four wines are created from the best cuvées and receive the highest percentage of new french oak. They are: Chardonnay "Nuits-Blanches au Bouge", Hildegard (a blended white of Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Aligoté), Pinot Noir "Knox Alexander", and Pinot Noir "Isabelle."

2. Historic Vineyards Collection: The collection represent five iconic vineyards that have elevated the recognition of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in this wine region; four from Santa Barbara County and one from San Luis Obispo County.

3. Santa Barbara County Classics: These are wines of character that are imminently enjoyable and very affordable so you can make them a part of your everyday life without sacrificing quality. The Santa Barbara County Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are remarkable for the price. The Pinot Gris/Pinot Blanc is elegant and refreshing.

Clendenen Family

There are few legacy wineries in America. A legacy winery is a winery where the owner is committed to the future, thinking long term, taking actions and making plans not for themselves but for their children’s children. CFV is just that, a bequest to his children so that they pass it along to their children. Jim Clendenen has often dreamed of having a small winery where commerce was not the driving force. Instead, a dream to have the luxury to keep wines long in barrel should they need it (5 years for the Nebbiolo!), red wines that will last generations, firm wines, wines that are for their purpose food-friendly. Firm acidities, and moderate alcohol are among his reference points for production. There is no doubt quality is here; the question is if there is patience enough in today’s consumptive environment. These are distinctive, adult wine styles. Caveat Emptor.

Not just another label, Clendenen Family is a project of passion. These are artisan, small lots of distinctive wines where commerce takes a back seat to intent. Wines that are nuanced, long lived, balanced, food-friendly, and not limited to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Most of the fruit for the Clendenen Family wines comes from the estate Le Bon Climat Vineyard located in the Santa Maria Valley. The 70 acre vineyard produces Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Viognier, Aligoté, Gewürztraminer, and Teroldego.

Barham Mendelsohn

In 1998, Barbara Barham Mendelsohn and Richard Mendelsohn planted 5 acres of carefully selected clones of Pinot Noir on Lala Panzi Ranch in the Russian River Valley near Healdsburg in Sonoma County. The Mendelsohns engaged successful and experienced viticulturalist Fred Peterson to direct the planting of 6,100 vines on their rolling ranch land. The Mendelsohns questioned leading wine industry figures and compiled a list of the most successful Pinot Noir producers and cross-referenced it down to three names.

After an interview process, a joint venture was proposed to Jim Clendenen. During this mutual discovery period Clendenen was impressed by the beauty of Lala Panzi, the excellence of the site, and the commitment to organic farming producing balanced fruit and wine. The concurrence of Jim’s idea of clonal selection with Fred Peterson’s ideas, and the exciting shared vision of food and wine culture that Jim possessed with the Mendelsohns, cemented their relationship. One, limited edition Pinot is made each year and each year it is phenomenal. Under "Specialty Wines."

Ici/La-Bas

Ici/La-Bas translates as “here and there”, as in the grapes are grown "there" in the Anderson Valley of Mendocino County or Oregon, and the wine is made "here" at our production facility in Santa Maria. Each year a Chardonnay and Pinot Noir is produced from the Elke Vineyard in Anderson Valley, and occasionally a Pinot Noir from Oregon. Under "Specialty Wines."

 

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Very fruit forward and unctous, this Chardonnay is rich and complex with a tropical coconut, pineapple character. It shows abundant fruit, oak, and viscosity along with a nice mineral component. Beautiful. Enjoyable now or be rewarded with further aging.

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$25.00
 
SKU: CLAH16D

The flavor profile for this well structured Chardonnay is in the subtle pear and apple realm with accents of lavender and anise from the time in barrel. There are citrusy notes of lemon and orange along with a minerality. Additional flavors and aromas will emerge over time. Score 95 Points Antonio Galloni's Vinous.

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$35.00
 
SKU: CHYHV16D
 

From one of our best vineyard sources, this fleshy yet structured wine has a dark fruit character, such as plums and cherries along with the signature spice this location provides.

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$50.00
 
SKU: PNRIN14D

This vineyard has hit its stride producing marvelous Chardonnays year after year. On the palate, classic Chardonnay flavors of apple, citrus and vanilla go on and on. Serve with shellfish, Cornish game hen, or alfredo pasta with lobster.

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$35.00
 
SKU: CHRHV15D
 

One of a kind! From the 2013 vintage, this wine represents the best lots of Jim's Pinot Noir: 75% Isabelle, 20% Knox Alexander, and 5% Barham Mendelsohn. Sensational? Yes it is. The bottle is graced with a hand-etched and painted art piece called "Dance of the Pomegranites" by noted artist Yuroz. It is as stunning as the wine. Magnums only. Only 200 available.

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$200.00
 
SKU: PNGENU13F

An exceptional vintage, this deep red has aromas and flavors of plums, cherry and dried roses with a wonderful balance between the richness of fruit and complexity of age. Serve with a pork or lamb roast, or smoked turkey

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$35.00
 
SKU: NECFV13Y
 

Our first Pinot Noir from this prestigious vineyard. The wine shows deep berry fruit notes (lots of strawberry) that blends nicely with intense flavors of anise, clove and dried cranberry. The new oak component is obvious with notes of caramel. It is lovely now and should age another 8 to 10 years. 

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$35.00
 
SKU: PNJUL16D

Pinot Noir. Single Clone #115.Located next to Los Alamos Vineyard, Rancho La Cuna is an bucolic oasis of olive trees, heritage gardens and a five acre vineyard planted to Pinot Noir, Viognier, and Syrah that Jim Clendenen owns. Production is low and the wines produced seldom reach the shelves before they are gone. This is a beautiful, well stated Pinot of elegance and balance.

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$60.00
 
SKU: PNCCL12Y
 

From Jim's Le Bon Climat Vineyard, this Pinot Noir is from a select block defined and named for friends Dick and Marg Denny. It is rich, dark and full bodied with very berry fruit.

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$50.00
 
SKU: PNDM09D

From Jim's Le Bon Climat Vineyard, this Pinot Noir is from a select block defined and named for friends Dick and Marg Denny. The wines is rich and dark and fruit driven. 

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$40.00
 
SKU: PNDM10D