Owned by Jim Clendenen, the Le Bon Climat Vineyard was planted in 1997 to mainly Pinot Noir, although it also has 7 acres of Chardonnay with small amounts of Gewurztraminer, Aligote, Teroldego and Viognier. The soil is well drained and nutrient poor. The nutrient weak soil controls vine vigor. Vigorous vines set more fruit which could lead to a dilute wine with low intensity. Le Bon Climat Vineyard is some of the earliest work done 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. The small number of clusters ripen with richness creating wines of power and intensity.
Score: 92 points Robert Parker - Jeb Dunnuck
"The medium-gold colored 2011 Chardonnay le Bon Climat Vineyard was 100% barrel-fermented and aged two years sur lees. It offers a killer good nose of ripe orchard fruits, honeysuckle, buttered nuts and a kiss of oak in a medium to full-bodied, rich, yet classically styled profile that carries bright acidity. It’s drinking beautifully today, but it should age gracefully as well."