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December 201498+ No tasting note for this wine. Mark Aubert is one of the contenders for California’s finest practitioner of Burgundian-styled, yet classic, California Chardonnays. His offerings are all made like grand cru Burgundies with full malolactic, the use of French oak and lees stirring, but the purity of fruit, the textural dimensions, and the stunning singularity of these Chardonnays can only be matched by a handful of other Chardonnay producers in the world. He’s that good. Aubert’s 2012s, which I have enjoyed multiple times out of bottle since I purchased most of them, merit the scores I gave them last year. Those include the 2012 Chardonnay Cix Estate (99), 2012 Chardonnay East Side (99), 2012 Chardonnay Larry Hyde & Sons (96), 2012 Chardonnay Lauren Estate (98+), 2012 Chardonnay Ritchie (95), 2012 Chardonnay Sugar Shack Estate (99), and 2012 Chardonnay UV-SL (96). The 2013 Chardonnays are going to be as extraordinary in quality. Aubert told me they fermented slower than in 2012, and the harvest was earlier in 2013. Despite the fact that the 2013s appear to be crisper with lower pHs, they are still extremely powerful, all pushing 15% natural alcohol. One of the amazing things about Aubert’s Chardonnays is that they are aged in 100% new oak, but it is virtually untraceable in any of the wines – a testament to the quality of the fruit as well as the meticulous vinification and élevage practiced by Mark Aubert. Readers should beat a path to his door or mailing list, since he is at the top of his game, producing enormously complex and satisfying wines. Aubert’s Chardonnays, which I tend to drink in their first 4-5 years of life, can last well past a decade, but it hard to resist them at any age.
February 201495 Almonds, hazelnuts, pastry and green orchard fruit meld together in Aubert's 2012 Chardonnay Lauren Vineyard. One of the more textured, layered wines, the 2012 impresses for its balance and overall sense of harmony. A racy, perfumed finish rounds things out.
July 31, 201495 Rich and graceful, with layers of anise, fig, apricot, pear and honeydew. This picks up a touch of smoke and hazelnut, ending with a long, sustained finish that reverberates with flavor. Drink now through 2021. 875 cases made.