Au Bon Climat Los Alamos Chardonnay 2019
Very fruit forward and unctous, this Chardonnay is rich and complex with a tropical coconut, pineapple character. It shows abundant fruit, oak, and viscosity along with a nice mineral component. Beautiful. Enjoyable now or be rewarded with further aging.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
From an exceedingly cool vineyard site, this chardonnay is all structure at present, brooding and turned in on itself, driven by floating lees and linear oak, beneath which modest fruit and a teeming citrusy acidity roils. It’s the movement in the wine, independent of unresolved flavors, that assures me of the wine’s potential.
The 2019 Chardonnay Los Alamos Vineyard Santa Barbara Historic Vineyards Collection is laced with apricot, tangerine oil, mint, butter, tropical fruit and a kiss of new French oak. This is an especially rich, almost opulent wine for Los Alamos, but it all works so well. Bright citrus and saline notes add focus to the creamy, textured finish.
A golden hue in the glass, this bottling hits the nose with buttered hazelnut, warm wood and baked orange aromas. A nutty, toasted almond flavor surrounds the palate, with hits of lemon curd and citrus-glazed brioche throughout.
The light gold-hued 2019 Chardonnay Los Alamos Vineyard comes all from the Los Alamos Vineyard in Santa Maria and was brought up in 50% new French oak. It's a great value as well as an introduction into the style of this estate. Toasted spices, nuts, white flowers, and more stone fruits all emerge from the glass, and it's medium-bodied, with a layered, nicely textured mouthfeel, bright acidity, and a clean finish.
In 1982, Jim Clendenen decided, along with Adam Tolmach, to start a winery dedicated to Burgundian varietals in leased quarters. Adam left in 1990 to pursue his own efforts leaving Jim solo at the helm. Through careful re-investment from its own production, Au Bon Climat (which means "a well exposed vineyard") has grown to over 50,000 cases annually.
Au Bon Climat 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, along with 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. In addition to his Burgundian-focused Au Bon Climat wines, Jim also established another brand, Clendenen Family Vineyards. This project of passion allows him to make artisan, small lots of distinctive wines from a wider spectrum of varieties in styles conducive to small lots. He has received high acclaim for Italian varietals particularly his Nebbiolo that has a five year aging regimen in barrel.
With a dry and mild climate cooled significantly by moist ocean fog and breezes, Santa Barbara County is a grape-grower’s dream. Part of the larger Central Coast appellation, Santa Barbara is home to Santa Maria Valley and Santa Ynez Valley. The conditions here provide an opportunity for nearly effortless production of high-quality cool-climate Central Coast wines. This is also the site of the 2004 film Sideways, which caused Pinot Noir’s popularity to skyrocket and brought new acclaim to the region.
Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are the stars of Santa Barbara, producing wines marked by racy acidity. Crisp Sauvignon Blanc and savory Syrah are also important. The region is home to many young and enthusiastic winemakers eager to experiment with less common varieties including Chenin Blanc, Grüner Veltliner, Trousseau Gris, Gamay and Cabernet Franc, making it an exciting area to watch.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.