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Vintage Clendenen Family Vineyards Le Bon Climat Chardonnay 2016
Jim Clendenen was famous for producing internationally acclaimed Pinot Noir & Chardonnay in California. Amongst the region’s top producers, the wines he started producing in 1982 set the standard for modern, terroir-driven Californian wine from Burgundian grapes. Wines under the Clendenden Family Vineyards label are not just another label – this was a project of passion for Jim. These are artisan, nuanced wines from small lots producing distinctive wines that have had the luxury to be in the barrel as long as they need it. Long-lived, food-friendly, with firm acidity and moderate alcohol, they are really special parts of Jim’s story that we are honoured to import and represent in the UK.
Le Bon Climat is a vineyard Jim bought many years ago in the Santa Maria Valley just 5 miles from the famous Bien Nacido site where the winery is. It is situated on a very steep, windy and cool-climate site which gives incredible preserved aromatics in the wines that are made from there.
The wine is plush yet restrained, complex and layered yet light on its feet. 2016 is extroverted and fleshy, yet also strung on a backbone of minerality. Hints of apricot, fresh Amalfi lemon, floral honey work their way through to you in layers with ocean spray and sea salt lingering in a very long finish. 20 months in the best new French oak have made for a wine of real textural depth and resonance.