Au Bon Climat Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay 2006

Chardonnay from Santa Maria Valley, California

$35.99 $27.98
Save $8.01
Item No. 106378
  • white wine
  • WE93
  • W&S93
Style: Rich & Creamy

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.

Alcohol By Volume: 13.5%

Alcohol By Volume Guide

  • 10%
  • 16+%
Most 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%.

Winemaker's Notes

This wine comes from our two estate vineyards; Bien Nacido and Le Bon Climat. The wine combines old school Chardonnay from K Block at Bien Nacido and the newer planting at Le Bon Climat. Bien Nacido K block was planted in the early 70s with the UC Davis clone 4. This clone when grown in the cool Santa Maria Valley ripens with bracing acidity. The newer Chardonnay clones planted at Le Bon Climat in 1998 have riper flavors at lower sugars when compared to the UC Davis clones. 2006 was a cool vintage, the grapes for this wine were picked nearly two weeks later than normal. The final blend is 2/3 Bien Nacido and 1/3 Le Bon Climat. This is the richest and roundest of all the Au Bon Climat Chardonnays. Don't be fooled by the upfront flavors, the finish is bright with palette cleansing acidity.

Critical Acclaim

"Extremely rich and ripe, with tremendous pineapple, pear, mango and white flower flavors that have been liberally oaked. Shows a touch of bitterness in the finish, which is probably the result of its age. Still, it’s a flamboyant, impressive Chardonnay, like a magnificent old tapestry that's fraying a bit around the edges"
93 Points

"The bright, fresh core of red fruit flavors (think apples and strawberries) gives this chardonnay a sense of vibrancy. To get that freshness, Jim Clendenen sources grapes from two cool-climate vineyards, Bien Nacido and his estate, Le Bon Climat, both planted in the loose alluvial soils of Santa Maria Valley. The brisk flavors last, growing deeper and more pronounced with air. It feels floral and lifted on the finish, a playful and delicious balance between fruit and mineral expression. For grilled pork tenderloin."
93 Points

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Heather Werner - Washington, DC (read all my reviews)

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Learn About Au Bon Climat Map ItMap It

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.

Learn About Santa Maria Valley

Situated near the ocean in the larger Santa Barbara district, the Santa Maria Valley appellation runs east to west. Pacific Ocean air funnels in to cool the vineyards, allowing the grapes to evenly ripen and reach their full potential. This unique climate paired with the region's well-drained soils helps create some sought-after grapes. Notable Facts Pinot Noir and...

Read More About Santa Maria Valley

Learn About Chardonnay

Chardonnay (shar-dawn-AY) White Wine's Queen Bee Like Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay can grow just about anywhere. It adapts well to different soils and different climates. While frequently paired with California, its native home lies in the vineyards of Burgundy, France. The only major white grape of the region, Chardonnay is at its best on the rolling...

Read More About Chardonnay

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