This low alcohol, creamy and delicious Chardonnay was grown in Clendenen’s certified organic, home vineyard planted in 1998. Le Bon Climat vineyard is some of the earliest work in Santa Barbara County with Dijon Clones of Chardonnay planted on devigorating rootstock. This scion-rootstock combination limits yields naturally. Low vigor vines grow slowly and set few grapes resulting in the small number of beautiful clusters that ripen bearing richness, power and intensity.
The 2008 vintage was sunny and cool. The grapes ripened slowly and were “mature” at a lower sugar/acid ratio. This grape chemistry yielded a wine with mature aromatics and a bright and lively mouth feel. The grapes are gently pressed, the juice is totally barrel fermented and matured in 100% new François Freres Bertranges oak barrels. After 2 years of surlee aging the wine is fined and bottled unfiltered.
The wine in incredibly rich and round on the palate. It offers favors of nectarine, pears and flowers enhanced by the vanillin from barrel. With time in the glass, hints of more tropical fruit emerge. This is the eighth vintage of this wine. All have been impeccably balanced, complex, and age worthy.
Score: 92 points Antonio Galloni's Vinous:
"Light gold. Intriguing aromas of pear, melon, nectarine, lees and smoky minerals. Silky orchard fruit and orange pith flavors are lifted by tangy acidity and complemented by notes of honeysuckle and anise. Fleshy but lithe chardonnay, finishing with impressive clarity and spicy length." - Josh Raynolds