Best of the Best 2007: Domestic White Wines: Aubert 2004 Chardonnay Sonoma Coast Lauren Vineyard

<< Back to Robb Report, June 2007

Aubert 2004 Chardonnay Sonoma Coast Lauren Vineyard

Like a film star renowned for his comedy but whose passion is dramatic work, Sonoma’s King of Chardonnay, winemaker Mark Aubert, has been most often lauded as the genius behind such formidable red wines as the Peter Michael Les Pavots, Sloan Cabernet Sauvignon (a recently introduced cult favorite), and the Colgin Cellars portfolio.

 

His longtime infatuation with the fabled white grape of Burgundy began in earnest when the acknowledged Queen of Chardonnay, Helen Turley, hired him as her assistant at Peter Michael Winery. The richly articulated flavors and complex aromas of Turley’s Chardonnays set an exceptionally high bar for Aubert’s own efforts when—after Turley left to make wines for Colgin Cellars, as well as for Marcassin, her own label—he took over as winemaker at Peter Michael.

Since the launch of his own label with the introduction of his 2000 Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay, Aubert’s first love has taken center stage with collectors and critics alike. Although Aubert makes Pinot Noir from the UV Vineyard (owned by Ulises Valdez, his vineyard manager), the reputation of his label rests on his whites, which combine satiny, thick texture with lush fruit and vibrant mineral. Of the four Chardonnay vineyards currently in the Aubert portfolio, only the Lauren Vineyard (named for his daughter) belongs to him and his wife, Teresa, alone. It is also, in our opinion, the most luminous in the 2004 vintage, displaying a magnificent misty gold color and a texture like pale yellow satin. The fruit—pear, apricot, white peach—is layered atop a creamy custard, which dissolves on the long finish to a bright pinpoint of acidity. A crown jewel, indeed.

Aubert, www.aubertwines.com ($70)

From Around the Web...
The Encore at Wynn Las Vegas will be the site of a four-day exploration of rare distillations…
From cookie-filled gift baskets to stunning jewelry, here are 10 gifts for the lady in your life…
Photo by Andrew Fawcett
These select bars offer the chance to sample some of the world’s rarest and oldest liquors…
Photo by Francesco Tonelli
Vintage bottles of Pimm’s and Campari from 1960 and 1970 are a few of the coveted spirits…
For $125, the Durand corkscrew is meant to extract fragile corks from aged bottles…
Photo by Cordero Studios/corderostudios.com
The author of <i>Napa Valley Then & Now</i> recommends her favorite wines that are...
The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch, offers Gurkha Cigars’ His Majesty’s Reserve for about $55 a puff…
Made from Champagne’s only sanctioned white varietal, this will one-up other New Year’s Champagnes…
Photo by Ralph Dinkel
Davidoff’s newest humidor is a sculptural dome lined with African okoumé wood…
Charles Camille Heidsieck recognized that the best way to sell wine was to sell a lifestyle…