This is a carousel with zoom. Use the thumbnails to navigate, or jump to a slide. Use the zoom button to zoom into a image.

Low stock

The Society's 150th Anniversary Santa Barbara Chardonnay 2020

White Wine from USA - California
4.181820000 star rating 11 Reviews
A fitting tribute to the late Jim Clendenen and a wonderful addition to our 150th Anniversary range, this is a wonderful bespoke blend of chardonnay from Los Alamos and Bien Nacido vineyards with richness and length. Expect baked apple, pineapple and sweet oranges on the nose, with fine vanilla oak notes supporting the full creamy body and a saline note to the finish adding to the surprising freshness in the glass. For a video message from the winery, and for more on the story of this wine, please scroll down.
Price: £30.00 Bottle
Price: £360.00 Case of 12
Low stock
Code: US10431

Wine characteristics

  • White Wine
  • 2 - Dry
  • Chardonnay
  • 75cl
  • Now to 2030
  • 13.5% Alcohol
  • bouquet/flavour marked by oak
  • Cork, natural

The Society's 150th Anniversary Santa Barbara Chardonnay 2020

Play Video

More on the wine

A poignant wine as 2020 turned out to be Jim Clendenen's last harvest at Au Bon Climat, passing away in the spring of 2021. This was a project he was excited by, and ABC had been at the top of our list from the start.

As Au Bon Climat say, 'Jim didn’t just walk the walk, he paved the road', inspiring so many winemakers around the world. Always happy to give advice and share a bottle or two, he was a fantastic role model. This sort of project, to do a new blend, to showcase ABC's style while celebrating long term relationships and demonstrating that California Chardonnay can age was precisely the kind challenge Jim nailed.

Au Bon Climat

Au Bon Climat has become a trendsetter of Californian wines, producing distinctive, cooler-climate wines long before it became fashionable to do so in recent years.

Bursting into life back in 1982, Au Bon Climat means ‘a well-exposed vineyard.’ Until his all too early death in May 2021 it was headed by the inimitable, eccentric wine maverick Jim Clendenen, who had been worked in the industry since 1978. His bright, forward-thinking and larger-than-life character (along with his several Winemaker of the Year accolades from various sources over the years) have gone down in winemaking history.

30 years ago, when many winemakers were flocking to the warm and sunny Napa and Sonoma Valleys to produce California wine, Jim was one of the few who recognised the potential of the cooler climate in the south of the region – namely Santa Maria Valley, which is where his Le Bon Climat and legendary Bien Nacido vineyards are situated. Nestling in a canyon 20 miles from the sea, they are among the coolest sites in California, giving the wines an elegant, restrained, lighter-alcohol style akin to that of Burgundy’s classics, but with more ripeness.

Although of sublime quality, Au Bon Climat wines were certainly underrated at first: it was generally regarded that Californian producers needed a high score from the mighty Robert Parker before they were considered one of the greats, and as Au Bon Climat didn’t conform to the generally expected style of big, powerful reds they simply didn’t make...
Au Bon Climat has become a trendsetter of Californian wines, producing distinctive, cooler-climate wines long before it became fashionable to do so in recent years.

Bursting into life back in 1982, Au Bon Climat means ‘a well-exposed vineyard.’ Until his all too early death in May 2021 it was headed by the inimitable, eccentric wine maverick Jim Clendenen, who had been worked in the industry since 1978. His bright, forward-thinking and larger-than-life character (along with his several Winemaker of the Year accolades from various sources over the years) have gone down in winemaking history.

30 years ago, when many winemakers were flocking to the warm and sunny Napa and Sonoma Valleys to produce California wine, Jim was one of the few who recognised the potential of the cooler climate in the south of the region – namely Santa Maria Valley, which is where his Le Bon Climat and legendary Bien Nacido vineyards are situated. Nestling in a canyon 20 miles from the sea, they are among the coolest sites in California, giving the wines an elegant, restrained, lighter-alcohol style akin to that of Burgundy’s classics, but with more ripeness.

Although of sublime quality, Au Bon Climat wines were certainly underrated at first: it was generally regarded that Californian producers needed a high score from the mighty Robert Parker before they were considered one of the greats, and as Au Bon Climat didn’t conform to the generally expected style of big, powerful reds they simply didn’t make the grades. It is a mark of Jim’s tenacity that – regardless of the critics – he stuck to his guns and continued producing wines true to his own ideals, and it certainly paid off: like many new world countries, the US now has a healthy appetite for cooler-climate wines.

The popular Californian wine film Sideways (released in 2004) is believed to have had an impact on this trend: in it, the vineyards in the cooler Santa Barbara County were portrayed as a sort of ‘holy grail’ of wine production. The valley corridor goes from east to west, as opposed to north and south, channeling the sea breezes and, in fact, inspiring the title ‘Sideways’. One vineyard that featured prominently was Sanford and Benedict vineyards in Santa Rita Hills - unsurprisingly, this is a vineyard with which Au Bon Climat have a long-standing relationship. It is now not just the vineyards that are ‘well exposed’– Au Bon Climat has earned a place among the greatest and most sought-after wines in the new world.
Read more

JancisRobinson.com

A lovely example of Santa Barbara Chardonnay and a fitting to tribute to the late Jim Clendenen. Plenty of fruit but structured with forceful acidity underpinning. Stone fruit and orchard fruit on the...
A lovely example of Santa Barbara Chardonnay and a fitting to tribute to the late Jim Clendenen. Plenty of fruit but structured with forceful acidity underpinning. Stone fruit and orchard fruit on the palate, just a touch of tropical richness with a great addition of subtle oak. Fresh and mineral. Immaculately balanced.
Read more

Andy Howard MW

Bestselling wines

Back to top