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Au Bon Climat Hildegard Estate White Blend 2015

  • V93
  • RP92
750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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V 93
Vinous
The 2015 White Hildegard Estate is quite exuberant in this vintage, largely the result of a growing season that lowered yields dramatically. Tangerine, almond, chamomile, wild flowers and lightly honeyed notes fill out the wine's ample frame effortlessly. Classy, polished and nuanced all the way, the 2015 will drink well with minimal cellaring. Time in the glass brings out an attractive floral side to the 2015 that is quite appealing.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A lovely wine, the 2015 Hildegard from Au Bon Climat—a blend of Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Aligoté that emulates the pre-phylloxera plantings on Corton-Charlemagne—reveals notes of buttered apples, preserved citrus, toasted macadamia nut, struck match and a framing of toasty new oak. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, textural and bright, with nice depth and a racy finish. As previsions renditions demonstrate, this singular cuvée evolves very attractively in bottle. Considering this wine was matured in 100% new François Frères barrels, it's already remarkably integrated.
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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.

CWMAU0515_2015 Item# 431218