A perennial staff favorite at K&L, Au Bon Climat's Santa Barbara Chardonnay is a go-to for well-made, balanced, food-friendly Chardonnay for under $20. Au Bon Climat follows a natural, minimal interventionist winemaking approach that incorporates whole cluster pressing, fermentation in neutral French oak, sur-lie ageing, and bottling without fining or filtration to yield a Chardonnay with texture, nuance, and finesse. The 2011 exhibits classic Santa Barbara ripeness balanced by naturally fresh acidity, with lemony citrus and appple aromas and flavors accompanied by creamy notes. The palate is textured and full, with leesey flavors and a mouthwatering finish. A standout in the ranks.
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