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Old 13-04-2008, 06:40 AM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default TN Au Bon Climat 1993 Chardonnay (a reserve )

Thw wine is Au Bon Climat Le Bouge D' a Cote, Santa Barbara, Bien
Nacido Vineyard, Chardonnay 1993. It had a good fill and cork and had
been properly stored since release.

I have reported on this and other reserve Au Bon Climat Chardonnays
here before. Without exception, they have all held well over 10 years
and in fact need several years to show well This wine is likely at the
peak, but it would not surprise me if it holds well until it is 20 or
more years old. It is the closest California I have found to top white
Burgundy, and has much in common with it, especially when well aged.
It perhaps has more of a grapefruit citrus character than white
Burgundy, especially when young and not mature. I have tasted top
California Chardonnay from other regions and producers in some years,
but not in other years. This and the other reserves from Au Bon
Climat, at least from the late 80s and early 90s, really have nearly
no competition for quality in California if one averages over several
years. The wine could easily pass for 15 years younger if I offered it
to those who drink the huge California Chardonnays that often are
impressive early on, but start down hill nearly as soon as they are in
the bottle. IMO, a reserve Au Bon Climate should not be opened until
it is at least 10 years old. The problem is that production of the
regular Au Bon Climat is very small, and that of their reserves is
extremely small. Although you can easily pay more for Chardonnay in
California, the Au Bon Climat reserve Chardonnays are not cheap.
However the main problem is finding any at all to buy, even in
California.

Au Bon Climate can not exist on reserves only no more than a top
German estate can exist on TBA only. Their regular Chardonnay often is
several steps down from their best reserves. They also make other
types of wines ranging from "me too" to outstanding quality.

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