Au Bon Climat Sanford and Benedict Historic Vineyard Collection 2007
Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
For a region known for its cool climate fruit, Santa Rita Hills appellation is HOT right now, and global warming has nothing to do with it. Sanford and Benedict is the oldest planted vineyard in the appellation. An amazing location with the perfect combination of soil, climate and exposure, it set the standard for the region. ABC has always made a Sanford and Benedict Chardonnay and Pinot Noir as the grapes lend themselves to our style of wine making. Unlike any other California Chardonnay. The minerality and complexity of flavors dominates this wine, a perfect choice for Chablis lovers.
The 2007 exhibits pear and apple aromas together with a touch of vanillin and lees from extended barrel aging in French oak barrels. Balance is shown in all aspects of this wine: the leesy aroma is balanced with the apple-y aromas, the acidity is balanced with mouth filling richness, and the restraint is balanced with the underlying power.
Wine Enthusiast - "About as rich and flamboyant as California Chardonnay gets, a wine that blows you away with sheer pyrotechnic wizardry. Massive in grilled pineapples, mangoes, Key lime pie, vanilla honey, crème caramel and dusty spices, accented with perfect acidity. "
Au Bon Climat Winery
Au Bon Climat was created to produce high quality handcrafted wine from the traditional Burgundian varietals. They are one of the few California wineries to explore the gamut of these varieties: Aligote, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The winery is located within the Bien Nacido Vineyard, the source of the majority of their fruit. View all Au Bon Climat Wines
About Central CoastView a map of Central Coast wineries
The largest of California's wine growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of California's wine. The district sprawls out, covering most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara. Smaller sub-AVAs of the Central Coast include Monterey Bay, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains and many others.
Notable FactsGrape varieties range from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. Some Central Coast wine is generic, bulk wine that contributes to the high production numbers of the area. But many winemakers and wineries, particular in some of the smaller AVAs, are small production artisans, creating unique and high-quality wine. The great thing about the Central Coast is its diversity - you're able to find a number of grape varieties and styles at a number of different price points.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.