Au Bon Climat Pinot Gris/Pinot Blanc
WHY WE LOVE IT
- The Pinot Gris portion of the blend supplies the energy, while the Pinot Blanc delivers minerality and depth.
- The Pinot Blanc portion is from Bien Nacido Vineyard. Au Bon Climat is located in the Bien Nacido vineyard allowing us to closely monitor the grapes maturity and pick at optimum ripeness.
- Most of the Pinot Gris is from Sierra Madre Vineyard. Sierra Madre Vineyard is one of the oldest vineyards in the Santa Maria Valley, having been originally planted in the early 1970’s.
Varietal Composition: 75% Pinot Gris, 25% Pinot Blanc
Elaboration: All the Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc are harvested by hand, whole cluster pressed and barrel fermented. Upon completion of sugar and malolactic fermentations, the wine is sulfured and rests sur lees until the late summer. After racking and processing, the wine was returned to barrel spending a total 6 months in the barrel before bottling. Early bottle whites usually require a light filtration.
Tasting Notes: A refreshing, dry, blended white with citrus lemon/lime notes, flinty minerality, and crisp finish.
Beginning with the 1978 harvest, Jim Clendenen was assistant winemaker at Zaca Mesa Winery for three vintages, a valued training experience. In 1981 his vision broadened with three harvests in one year as Jim worked crush and directed the harvest at wineries in Australia and France. Three harvests in one year confirmed his masochistic tendencies. In 1982, Clendenen decided, along with Adam Tolmach, to start a winery dedicated to Burgundian varietals. Adam left in 1990 to pursue his own efforts leaving Jim solo at the helm.
Au Bon Climat (which means “a well exposed vineyard”) sources fruit from several of the most highly regarded vineyards in the Central Coast. These include Clendenen’s own Le Bon Climat Vineyard and estate plantings at the legendary Bien Nacido Vineyard – both in Santa Maria Valley, Sanford & Benedict Vineyard in Sta. Rita Hills, Los Alamos Vineyard (Santa Barbara County), and San Luis Obispo County’s Talley Vineyard.The winery has cultivated an international reputation for its Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris. Jim Clendenen, the “Mind Behind” Au Bon Climat, is recognized worldwide for his classically styled wines.