Au Bon Climat Hildegard Estate White Blend 2016  Front Label
Au Bon Climat Hildegard Estate White Blend 2016  Front LabelAu Bon Climat Hildegard Estate White Blend 2016  Front Bottle Shot

Au Bon Climat Hildegard Estate White Blend 2016

  • WE94
  • JD92
750ML / 13.5% ABV
Other Vintages
  • RP91
  • JD91
  • V93
  • RP92
  • RP90
  • WW95
  • RP90
  • WE92
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750ML / 13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

It emulates the pre-phylloxera plantings on Corton Charlemagne revealing notes of buttered apples, preserved citrus, pear, toasted macadamia nut, all framed in toasty new oak. The lovely aroma of vanilla and hazelnuts from the oak and the mouth-coating richness makes for a wine that seems like a top-notch Chardonnay. The fruit profile is more melony than Chardonnay and the aromas are more flowery than Chardonnay.

Blend: 55% Pinot Gris, 35% Pinot Blanc, 10% Aligote

Critical Acclaim

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WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
This annual white blend by Jim Clendenen is always fascinating, and this vintage's 55% Pinot Gris, 35% Pinot Blanc and 10% Aligoté combination offers warm rich aromas of hazelnut and crème brûlée that are cut by crushed chalk and lemon rind. It lands on the palate with a baked pastry warmth but then proves quite textural and taut with lime spray and herb flavors.
Editors' Choice
JD 92
Jeb Dunnuck
A blend of 55% Pinot Gris, 35% Pinot Blanc, and 10% Aligote, the 2016 Hildegard wafts from the glass with a Burgundian bouquet of ripe orchard fruits, buttered toast, pineapple, and spice. It's beautiful on the palate as well and has medium-bodied depth and richness, integrated acidity, some more toasty, nutty character, and a great finish. It's straight-up classy stuff.
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Au Bon Climat

Au Bon Climat

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Au Bon Climat, California
Au Bon Climat Winery Image

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 Wine

Central Coast, California

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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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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.

YNG284848_2016 Item# 531108

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