Owner, Jim Clendenen, strikes the balance between Californian ripeness and Burgundian style and winemaking. This wine was fermented in barrel and then aged for 9 months in French oak (not new) before being bottled unfiltered. As with most Californian wines, it is not cheap, but at £20.95 a bottle, this compares well with a Puligny or a Meursault and the comparison is not unreasonable.
Santa Barbara County, Chardonnay, Au Bon Climat, 2010
Pale straw colour. Classic west coast nose of grapes, brown sugar and elderflower but more restrained than I expected. More Puligny than California. Full of flavour - passion fruit, apple juice, and sherbet - but well balanced with acidity and a judicious use of oak that keeps it fresh and light. This is a very good but possibly one dimensional wine. However, I'd love to try the ABC single vineyard wines for added complexity and terroir expression. 3* 6/ 10