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

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)

Music festivals can often feel like the aural equivalent of an all-you-can-eat buffet, but...
In honor of the hotel’s 125th anniversary, the ultra-rare scotch comes with a piece of England’s...
Scott Torrence evaluates, assesses, and drinks some of the greatest vintages in the world...
The cucumber-infused spirit inspired the giant green airship, which is taking to the skies of major...
Photo by Madison McGaw
Club members celebrated the release of the Cognac at the Surrey hotel in in Manhattan…
A new generation of imbibers has flocked to the lighter taste of grain whisky…
Photo by Bob McClenahan
The bottles from the $6 million worth of barrels sold will be available in as soon as one year…
Because it is not aged entirely in new American oak barrels, the whiskey is not technically bourbon…
Photo by Andrea de Maria
Though banking, land, and vines have occupied Florence’s Frescobaldi family for more than 700 years...
A limited-edition release from Legacy Brands that gets its name from the Spanish word for “turtle...