2009 Au Bon Climat "Talley Vineyard-Santa Barbara Historic Vineyards Collection" San Luis Obispo County Chardonnay

SKU #1132066 Wine Spectator

 Juicy and vibrant, with elegant, delicate flavors of tangy nectarine and white peach. Subtle nuances mark the finish. Drink now through 2019.  (7/2012)

K&L Notes

"Talley Vineyards is located in the Arroyo Grande Valley, on California's South Central Coast, eight miles east of the Pacific Ocean. The Arroyo Grande Valley is in southern San Luis Obispo County just south of the Edna Valley and north of Santa Barbara County. It is a federally approved American Viticultural Area in recognition of the valley's distinctive climate and soil characteristics. The Arroyo Grande Valley runs northeast-southwest and opens directly to the Pacific Ocean, making it one of the coolest and most temperate viticultural areas in California. These ideal conditions result in a long and mild growing season, with bud break typically occurring in mid-February, flowering in early May and harvest in late September." (from the winery)

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Price: $24.99
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Staff Image By: Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/12/2013 | Send Email
Due to our wonderful relationship with the folks at Au Bon Climat we are lucky enough to bring you this tremendous Chardonnay. Back in May I went down to ABC and had lunch, tasted a bunch of cool new wines and put together a Pinot Noir blend that we’ll be seeing later in the year, but that is a totally different story. One of my favorite wines from that day was the 2009 Au Bon Climat "Talley Vineyard-Santa Barbara Historic Vineyards Collection" San Luis Obispo County Chardonnay which I was told that K&L could have an exclusive on. I was floored I couldn’t believe that a wine with this level of poise and balance could still be kicking around and furthermore we could be the only ones selling it, but both were certainly true. A lovely pithy nose of custard, egg cream, peach pit and nutmeg builds richness as its airs in the glass. Alluring and feminine that nose is a perfect prelude to the nectarine, apricot, apple skin and tea leaf qualities found on the palate. Stylistically speaking this is just about in the middle of the Domestic Chardonnay spectrum, oak and texture is there but it is not overwhelming the pretty stone fruit and integrated acidity. Seamless and bordering on beautiful it is rare to find such a complete chardonnay at the apex of its drinking window for $25.

Staff Image By: Sarah Covey | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/24/2013 | Send Email
This wine is demonstrative of Jim Clendenin's magical Chardonnay abilites. The Talley vineyards have been famous in their own right for many years for beautiful fruit. Au Bon Climat's bottling here is floral, feminine, vanilla, butter and coconut. Medium plus acidity keeps it from getting cloying, and the balance of tannin is soft and approachable. This is a really special wine that we are honored to sell.

Staff Image By: Mellyn Craig | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/23/2013 | Send Email
This is an elegant Chardonnay at a great price! Pretty aromatics of white flowers and a touch of citrus made me intrigued without even taking a sip. The floral and soft citrus notes follow through on the palate with a slight toasty oak, but very well integrated. The mouthfeel is delightfully creamy and smooth. Pair this Chardonnay with a roasted chicken tonight!

Staff Image By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/22/2013 | Send Email
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An exceptional release from Au Bon Climat. I have long been a fan of Jim's wines for their refreshingly high acidity, focus and restraint when compared with the seemingly ever growing number of super oaky buttery chards out there. This release is one of the best I have come across from Au Bon Climat. It is perfectly poised and elegant on the palate. Nice ripe orchard fruits, some raw almond turning more toasted hazelnut. A lingering mineral content shines on the finish which is very precise and clean. A complex and superbly elegant chardonnay.

Staff Image By: Shaun Green | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/22/2013 | Send Email
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Here's a chance to try one of the great ABC Chards that you normally can find only at the winery. It has a lovely bright nose showing the more elegant side of Chardonnay, with lovely peach notes mingled with white flower aromas. On the palate you get a great balance of juicy white peach fruits, soft and modest oak treatment and bright acidity. This is an extremely lovely and uncommonly balanced version showing the best of the varietal and the best of the new world's ability with it. Delicious!
Drink from 2013 to 2016

Additional Information:



- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Santa Maria/Santa Barbara

- Santa Maria and Santa Ynez make up the two AVAs of Santa Barbara County, an area known for its natural beauty and temperate climate. The best grape-growing areas, however, are located on the very coastal reaches of these two appellations, and are cooled by ever-present fog and ocean breezes (it is even cooler and foggier here than Carneros!). As expected, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir thrive while the more inland zones lay claim to Bordeaux varietals and some Rhône blends.