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Au Bon Climat Hildegard Estate White Blend 2013

  • WW95
  • RP90
750ML / 13.5% ABV
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750ML / 13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Named after an Empress, this exquisite blend of Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, and Aligote is barrel fermented and aged in all new French oak. Mouth-coating richness with lovely vanillin and hazelnuts nuances.

Critical Acclaim

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WW 95
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
One of California's top white wines, the ultra-rich and exquisitely balanced 2013 Au Bon Climat Hildegard Estate Bottled offers ripe core fruits, a tang of citrus, and an accent of spicy oak. The wine's richness makes it an exceptional match with shellfish in a cream sauce. (Tasted: May 24, 2017, San Francisco, CA)
RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Giving up more citrus, caramelized fruits, brioche and sappy flowers, the 2013 Hildegard Proprietary White (50% Pinot Gris, 40% Pinot Blanc and 10% Aligote) has bright acidity, medium-body and an impeccably balanced profile that makes it a joy to drink. It has a kiss of oak on the finish and should drink nicely for at least a year or two.
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Au Bon Climat

Au Bon Climat

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Au Bon Climat, California
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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.

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Santa Maria Valley

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A lesser-known but elite AVA within the larger Santa Barbara district, the Santa Maria Valley AVA runs precisely west to east starting near the coast. The valley funnels cool, Pacific Ocean air to the vineyards more inland, allowing grapes a longer hang time to ripen evenly and achieve their full potential by harvest time. Combined with minimal rainfall, consistent warm sunshine, and well-drained soils, it is an ideal environment for grape growing.

Many of the wineries here are small and highly respected, having established a reputation in the 1970s and 80s for producing excellent Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. More recently, Syrah has also proven quite successful in the region. Many vineyards are owned by growers who sell their grapes to other wineries, so it is common to see the same vineyard name on bottlings from different wineries. Bien Nacido Vineyard is perhaps the best-known and most prestigious.

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Other White Blends

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With hundreds of white grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a soft and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is more fragrant and naturally high in acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

WWH141335_2013 Item# 157974