Au Bon Climat Hildegard White Blend

Au Bon Climat “Hildegard” White Blend

WHY WE LOVE IT

  • Th first vintage of this wine was 1998.The name Hildegard is a salute to the history of Burgundy and to Hildegard’s husband, the King of the Franks, Charlemagne.
  • Au Bon Climat’s “Hildegard” is a recreation of the original varietal planting of the Corton Charlemagne vineyard in 800 A.D. Chardonnay was not part of the mix at the time, but rather Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Aligoté.
  • The combination of this unique blend with long term barrel aging (2 years) made something special. It has a texture, complexity, and distinctiveness that cannot be found in a single white wine varietal.

Varietal Composition: 50% Pinot Gris, 40% Pinot Blanc, 10% Aligoté

Elaboration: Hand harvested, whole cluster pressed and put into barrel to ferment. The 3 varietals age separate for 2 years in 100% new François Frères French oak barrels.

Tasting Notes: Lovely aroma of vanilla and hazelnuts from the oak, and a mouth-coating richness, makes for a wine that seems like Chardonnay. But the fruit profile is more bruised apple and pear, and the aromas are more floral than Chardonnay. Minerally lavender and vanilla note from the fermentation/aging regime in top-notch barrels. Aromas of ripe stone fruit, contrast nicely with fresh herbal scent as the wine is initially evaluated.

PRESS

2017 – 91 Jeb Dunnuck | 91 Wine Advocate | 94 Vinous

2018 – 91 Wine Advocate | 94 Jeb Dunnuck | 95 Vinous

PRODUCER BACKGROUND

Beginning with the 1978 harvest, Jim Clendenen was assistant winemaker at Zaca Mesa Winery for three vintages, a valued training experience. In 1981 his vision broadened with three harvests in one year as Jim worked crush and directed the harvest at wineries in Australia and France. Three harvests in one year confirmed his masochistic tendencies.In 1982, Clendenen decided, along with Adam Tolmach, to start a winery dedicated to Burgundian varietals. Adam left in 1990 to pursue his own efforts leaving Jim solo at the helm.

Au Bon Climat (which means “a well exposed vineyard”) sources fruit from several of the most highly regarded vineyards in the Central Coast. These include Clendenen’s own Le Bon Climat Vineyard and estate plantings at the legendary Bien Nacido Vineyard – both in Santa Maria Valley, Sanford & Benedict Vineyard in Sta. Rita Hills, Los Alamos Vineyard (Santa Barbara County), and San Luis Obispo County’s Talley Vineyard.The winery has cultivated an international reputation for its Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris. Jim Clendenen, the “Mind Behind” Au Bon Climat, is recognized worldwide for his classically styled wines.

Print rated Shelf Talker (2017 – 91 Wine Advocate)
Print rated Shelf Talker (2017 – 94 Vinous)
Print rated Shelf Talker (2018 – 95 Vinous)