Au Bon Climat has been making Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara County grapes since 1982, 23 years before Sideways. In the 1980s and 90s the product mix was at Au Bon Climat was 75% to ... read more
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Au Bon Climat has been making Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara County grapes since 1982, 23 years before Sideways. In the 1980s and 90s the product mix was at Au Bon Climat was 75% to 80% Chardonnay to 20% to 25% Pinot Noir. Chardonnay was king and people had not discovered the joys of Pinot Noir. All this began to change in the late 90s and now Au Bon Climat makes an equal amount of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Strawberries and blackberries aromas slowly rise out of the glass. Overtime, more of the anise and clove will mix with these other aromas. Currently, the wine is young with mouth filling intensity and suppleness. Complexity will increase as the wine ages, but this wine should stay “fresh” for 6 or 7 years. Like all Au Bon Climat wines, this is a food wine. In its youth, match this wine with lamb or dried meats. After a few years, as the flavors coalesce, it will pair better with salmon or mild red sauce with pasta. We have enjoyed this wine with many food choices from spicy Indian dishes to all-American sandwiches, and the wine worked well with most anything. The possible food pairings are almost endless.
Born in Akron, Ohio to gastronomically impoverished parents during the culinary Dark Ages of the American 1950s, Jim went on to graduate from the University of California, Santa Barbara, with High Honors in Pre-Law in 1976. It was during his junior year abroad in 1974, while turning 21 in France, that he discovered life beyond tacos. After graduation, a one month stay in both Burgundy and Champagne convinced him to attempt a career in wine than to continue on to law school. In 1981 he found a way to work 3 harvests in one year – directing the crush at wineries in Australia and France as well as on his home turf. This masochistic feat convinced him he was ready to start his own winery, and he launched Au Bon Climat the following year.
Jim began working with his now ex-partner Adam Tolmach in a leased space. He quickly cultivated a reputation for making some of the best Burgundian-style Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in the country. He also made a delicious Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris. By 1989, Robert Parker included Au Bon Climat on his short list of Best Wineries in the World. The honors and accolades have kept coming ever since.