Au Bon Climat

14 December 2023
“Au Bon Climat’s Chardonnays and Pinots Noirs are models of long-lived restraint” – Jancis Robinson MW
A formative trip to Burgundy in the mid-1970s convinced Jim Clendenen to abandon his fledgling legal career and pursue a life devoted to wine. In 1982, he established Au Bon Climat in an old dairy in the Santa Maria Valley and his classically-styled Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs have been a Californian benchmark ever since.

Farming prized vineyards in the cool hills north of Santa Barbara, including ‘Bien Nacido’, ‘Sanford & Benedict’, and ‘Le Bon Climat’, Jim’s artisanal, Old World approach set him apart at a time when high alcohol and heavily oaked wines were the norm in California. By 1989 Au Bon Climat was featured in Robert Parker’s list of the best domaines in the world.

From a winery shared with Rhône enthusiast Bob Lindquist of Qupé, Au Bon Climat crafts multiple site-specific cuvées from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc, and Pinot Gris. Offering beautiful aromatics and a depth of flavour akin to Grand Cru Burgundy, Jim’s wines also have outstanding ageing potential.

In 2021 Jim sadly passed away, however the domaine remains in good hands with his children Isabelle and Knox carrying on their father’s work.

We are thrilled to offer this pristine parcel of mature Au Bon Climat – a legacy of Jim’s extensive library of older vintages. Perfectly suited to the festive table, especially in magnum, they offer rare glimpse of a true Californian icon with age.

Please note that these bottles have fragile corks, which are best removed with a Durand.


Chardonnay ‘Bien Nacido’ 2005 (£95)
Seductive floral and orchard fruit notes alongisde sea salt minerality.

Chardonnay ‘Talley and Alban Vineyards’ 1999 (£115)
From Arroyo Grande Valley. Peach, honey, toffee, smoky oak – buttery and long.

Chardonnay ‘Nuits-Blanches au Bouge’ 2003 (£105)
Chardonnay ‘Nuits-Blanches au Bouge’ Magnum 1999 (£210)
Chardonnay ‘Nuits-Blanches au Bouge’ Magnum 1998 (£210)
From 1970s vines. Spicy tropical fruit and grilled nuts, with a lovely silky texture.


Pinot Noir ‘Sanford & Benedict’ 2001 (£130)
Sensual and fragrant – cherry, cinnamon, cola berry, and toasty oak.

Pinot Noir ‘Knox Alexander’ 2004 (£160)
From a cool, high site. Pretty dark berries, exotic spices, and smoky mineral notes.

Pinot Noir ‘Isabelle’ 2001 (£175)
A blend of the domaine’s best Pinots. Juicy, spicy fruit with suave, chocolatey tannins.

Pinot Noir ‘La Bauge Au-dessus’ Magnum 1998 (£210)
Densely layered and gourmand – fig, redcurrant, orange peel, tobacco. Grand Cru quality.
Please note that this offer has expired, however you can check current stocks via the search bar or