This beautifully balanced, creamy and delicious Chardonnay was grown in Jim Clendenen’s vineyard planted in 1998 in the Santa Maria Valley. Le Bon Climat Vineyard is some of the earliest work in Santa Barbara County with Dijon Clones planted on devigorating rootstock. This scion-rootstock combination limits yields naturally.
The “Pip” Chardonnay is made with the same “hand-crafted” approach as all our Clendenen Family Wines. All the grapes are handpicked and sorted in the vineyard. The grapes are gently whole cluster pressed, the juice is chilled and settled and put into barrel. Both the yeast and malo-lactic fermentations take place in the barrel. The “Pip” Chardonnay was aged in barrel surlie for a full year prior to bottling. We lightly fine and filter the “Pip” Chardonnay so the wine will be ready to drink upon release.
Aging this wine for two or three years would reward anyone with patience. The wine is complex, full bodied and enjoyable today, so no need to wait. The citrus/apple notes in the aromas mesh nicely the stone fruit and tropical flavors that are underscored by minerality. The fruit notes in the aromas and flavors will evolve into more spices and nuts. Currently this young Chardonnay would work as an aperitif or with lighter fare. Any type of seafood would match with the saline quality of this delicious wine. Serve this wine with a cheese plate after the meal for a big hit.
Alcohol: 13.5% by Vol.
The Clendenen Family Vineyards “Pip” Wines Project
Pip was the best dog in the world. There might be many other dogs in contention but if you met Pip you would agree. She chased the ball and the Frisbee for hours, all while hiding between throws. In her imagination she was herdin’ something, a classic border collie. Pip was at the winery most days. It was hard to get visitors to pay attention to wine tasting when Pip was chasing everyone that wanted to throw the ball for her. Big Miguel” would kick the soccer ball a mile and Pip would find it, Bob Lindquist and his Dodger “rubber arm” would throw the tennis ball a few feet, seldom in the strike zone, and Pip would shrug.
We could not name just one wine after this dog. We memorialize her with an entire line-up of wines. The “Pip” wines are early releases from either our estate Le Bon Climat or Bien Nacido vineyards. Important attributes of “Pip” wines are a shorter barrel program with less new wood, and using fruit from younger vines. These wines are delicious upon release, so drink up.