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Au Bon Climat

Wine Specs
Santa Maria Valley
Alcohol %

2017 Clendenen Chardonnay Bien Nacido

Clendenen Family - SMV

A knockout - rich, creamy, balanced. For this limited edition Chard, the finest lots of Bien Nacido fruit were barrel fermented in super expensive, custom-made Francois Freres barrels. The style is more complex and intense than our ABC counterpart. Scored 95 points Antonio Galloni's Vinous; 93 points Jeb Dunnuck.

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We have been producing Chardonnay from Bien Nacido for decades and have our winemaking protocol down to a point where we know exactly what to do to maximize the potential of this grape from this vineyard. We have identified the best locations where Chardonnay is grown and have locked in our commitment. The grapes are hand harvested, whole cluster pressed (to minimize tannin extraction from the skins), and totally barrel fermented in 100% new François Frères barrels. What is different about this wine as compared to the Au Bon Climat version is style. For the Clendenen Family we selected the best fruit and used expensive, custom crafted, 350 liter barrels from Francois Freres where the wine was aged 20 months, then bottled unfiltered.

This is a big, creamy but balanced Chardonnay. It does show some muscle but it well defined. The aroma reveals this is obviously Chardonnay made in an old world style. Sweet barrel spice mixes nicely with a pear, citrus note from the fruit.  It is rich on the palate, and the classic Chardonnay flavors of apple, citrus and vanilla go on and on. This  lively wine will go with wide assortment of foods. Seared scallops in butter with a touch of orange, roast chicken with rosemary are just a couple of favorites with this Chardonnay.

Antonio Galloni's Vinous

Score: 95  The 2017 Chardonnay Bien Nacido Vineyard from Clendenen Family Vintners is the last pick from Bien Nacido (earlier picks are used in the Au Bon Climat wines). Rich, creamy and voluptuous, it offers up generous apricot, honey, almond, white flowers and lemon confit. This is an especially sumptuous Chardonnay, and yet it retains terrific brightness and energy.

Jeb Dunnuck

Score: 93  The 2017 Chardonnay Bien Nacido Vineyard is 100% Chardonnay that spent 20 months in new French oak. Vivid gold, with a gorgeous nose of salted citrus and orchard fruits as well as toasted nuts, brioche, and honeyed flowers, it hits the palate with medium-bodied richness, a straight, focused texture, bright acidity, and outstanding length. It shows the more tight, focused, linear style of the 2017 vintage, but it’s a beautiful Chardonnay.

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