Aubert Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay 2011
Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
Telltale "Ritchie Vineyard" intensities abound—yellow hues with a touch of green, definable tones of dried lemon and lime skins make up the aromatic profile. The mouth feel is very rich and the natural acidity gives the wine stability for continued bottle aging.
The wine has a slight hazy clarity showing our commitment to minimal interventional winemaking.
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "The 2011 Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard is utterly magnificent. I especially like the way the 2011 is at once unbelievably rich, but not at all heavy. Yellow stone fruit, light floral honey, nectarine and almonds inform the rich, oily finish. The 100% new barrels are imperceptible. All the elements are beautifully in place in this harmonious, voluptuous Chardonnay. This is a great, great showing from Mark Aubert. "
Wine Spectator - "The pure, rich smoke, fig, apricot and crème brûlée flavors are deep and persistent in this white, which is slow to open but gains depth, focus, persistence and length, ending with light toasted marshmallow."
Owner/winemaker Mark Aubert has had a distinguished winemaking career including a 12 year stint at Peter Michael where he followed Helen Turley. Aubert succeeded Turley again several years later at Colgin Cellars. He has been a winemaking consultant for several prestigious wineries including Sloan, Bryant and Futo. He crafts outstanding vineyard-designate Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs from estate and leased vineyards in the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast in a full-blown hedonistic style. The first wines were released with the 2000 vintage. Ulises Valdez is Aubert's vineyard manager. Until 2008, the two Pinot Noirs have been from the Reuling Vineyard and UV Vineyard, both located in the Sonoma Coast AVA. A new estate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vineyard has been planted adjacent Reuling, 4 acres of Pinot Noir were planted at Ritchie Vineyard in 2008, and 9 acres of Pinot Noir have been planted at a new site high above the town of Occidental. In 2008, there were six different single vineyard Chardonnays and five Pinot Noir wines. View all Aubert Wines
About Sonoma CountyRelated Links:
Twice as large as Napa in size, Sonoma County only makes about a half the amount of wine as her northeasterly neighbor. But Sonoma, with her size, is able to vouch for more diversity within her borders, including sub-AVAs that are climatically varied. The atmosphere of Sonoma is decidedly laid back and down home country style. But in wines, they are keeping up with the Joneses, or Napa-ites if you will. Grape varieties are more varied here, from Pinot Noir and Zinfandel to Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
Notable FactsThe largest sub-AVAs of Sonoma include Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley and Sonoma Valley. Each sub-AVA, with its own micro-climate, is unique in its grape varieties and styles of wine. Dry Creek makes a mean Zinfandel while Russian River produces stand up Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Alexander Valley makes some of the better Cabernet Sauvignons in the county and Sonoma Valley creates excellent wines from all the above varieties. Other grapes found throughout Sonoma include Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.