Au Bon Climat has been lucky enough to acquire small amounts of grapes grown at The Talley Vineyards in Arroyo Grande since 1990. It is one of the great vineyards of America.
The Arroyo Grande Valley has a similar climate to the Santa Maria Valley. Au Bon Climat is in the center of the Santa Maria Valley. Both Valleys open to the Pacific Ocean and see quite a bit of fog in May ,June and even July. Both are great locations for Burgundian varietals.
The 2009 Talley Chardonnay was picked on September 11th. The grapes were low pH with the right sugar/acid balance. The wines were crisp and intense. The 2009 Talley grapes were treated like all the grapes coming into Au Bon Climat, with unyielding admiration. The quality was amazing and we treated these grapes as they deserved. After almost two years in new French oak barrels the Talley San Luis Obispo County Historic Vineyard Chardonnay was bottled. The French oak component meshes so nicely with this high acid and low pH wine. Lemony/limey, clove and nutmeg are a few of the more prominent aromas in the wine, now. But, as time goes by this wine will show more minerality and depth. The energy and freshness are obvious, the subtle flavors of anise and citrus are less obvious. This food-friendly Chardonnay would be delicious served with fish, shell fish or many vegetarian options.
From The Wine Enthusiast Magazine Score: 91 - "This rich wine is has prominent flavors of ripe lemon, lime, pear, green apple and tropical fruit. Adding complexity is steely minerality, and while the oak is strong, the wine is still balanced. With a creamy texture and brisk acidity, this is a beautiful Chardonnay to drink now with lobster, crab, tuna or lamb." — S.H. (12/31/2013)