Au Bon Climat Sanford and Benedict Historic Vineyard Collection 2008
Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
The fruit for this wine comes from the oldest section of Sanford & Benedict Vineyard, planted in the early 70's. This vineyard has a high degree of calcified marine deposits in the soil, the vineyard orientation is a very cool northern-facing site, and the cool ocean breezes in what is now the Sta. Rita Hills appellation (a sub-appellation of the Santa Ynez valley) all combine for compelling terroir exhibited in the wines from Sanford and Benedict Vineyard.
The 2008 harvest was typical, we would generally pick Chardonnay from Sanford and Benedict Vineyards towards the end of September. After hand-picking, whole cluster pressing and complete primary and malo-lactic fermentation in the barrel, which are 50% new French, the wine was aged sur-lee for 12 months in these same barrels. The final product is a wine of balance and restraint with underlying power. You can smell and taste the flinty soil. After bottle aging for a year the limey, lemony flavors and aromas are starting to become more apparent.
This is a wine that is great today, try it with lighter fare. The wine will easily age for 10 years. In the future pair this wine stone crab, or any shell fish.
International Wine Cellar - "Light yellow-gold. Complex nose displays grapefruit, floral honey, dusty herbs and hints of spices and vanilla bean. Broad, dry and subtly smoky, with very good energy to its orchard fruit and citrus flavors. Shows a lively mineral quality with air and finishes with very good clarity and length."
Au Bon Climat Winery
Au Bon Climat was created to produce high quality handcrafted wine from the traditional Burgundian varietals. They are one of the few California wineries to explore the gamut of these varieties: Aligote, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The winery is located within the Bien Nacido Vineyard, the source of the majority of their fruit. View all Au Bon Climat Wines
About Central CoastView a map of Central Coast wineries
The largest of California's wine growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of California's wine. The district sprawls out, covering most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara. Smaller sub-AVAs of the Central Coast include Monterey Bay, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains and many others.
Notable FactsGrape varieties range from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. Some Central Coast wine is generic, bulk wine that contributes to the high production numbers of the area. But many winemakers and wineries, particular in some of the smaller AVAs, are small production artisans, creating unique and high-quality wine. The great thing about the Central Coast is its diversity - you're able to find a number of grape varieties and styles at a number of different price points.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.