The release of this wine marks the 35th Anniversary of Au Bon Climat winery. This winery started in a diary barn in Los Alamos in 1982 is now one of the most prominent wineries in Santa Barbara County. This Chardonnay is aged in special, custom-crafted, French barrels which are 50% bigger than the conventional French barrels. This larger size allowed for long term barrel aging with balanced oak integration. The grapes are from the best and oldest block of Chardonnay at both Bien Nacido and Le Bon Climat Vineyards. This is another special bottling from Jim Clendenen which never disappoint.
Antonio Galloni's Vinous
Score: 94 "The 2015 Chardonnay XXXV - 35th Anniversary is one of the most overt, flamboyant wines I have ever tasted from Jim Clendenen. A deep, richly layered wine, the XXXV - 35th Anniversary offers serious intensity to match its tropically-leaning profile. The 2015 is dense, exotic and super-concentrated. It is also immensely delicious. Even with all of its intensity, the 2015 finds a way to also retain quite a bit of freshness and overall energy. The 2015 is a blend of fruit from Bien Nacido and Le Bon Climat, and was aged in 350-liter barrels."
Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine
Score: 91** A special, small-lot bottling commemorating the winery's thirty-five years of winemaking, this very rich effort is a bit bigger and more showy than is the norm for Au Bon Climat Chardonnays, and, while always in fine balance and stopping short of oaky flamboyance, it is substantial, impressively extracted stuff that is at once both outgoing and sophisticated with precise fruit to spare. It is just beginning to show flashes of the complexity that comes with age, but it has the depth and reserve to grow for a good many years and is a wine that is affirms the variety's capacity to age and age."