Aubert Napa Valley Chardonnay 2011
Chardonnay from Russian River, California
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "The 2011 Chardonnay Napa Valley bristles on the palate with gorgeous energy and vibrancy. Crushed rocks, lemon peel and white flowers are all very much alive in the glass. This is another of the truly intriguing wines in the range. The Napa is made from a parcel owned by Aubert that David Abreu planted six years ago with a Montrachet selection. The vines are naturally quite young, but the results are already striking. With time in the glass, the 2011 opens up beautifully, finishing with gorgeous richness and pure texture. This is a dazzling wine by any measure."
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 Russian RiverView a map of Russian River wineries
The Russian River Valley is named as such due to its proximity to the Russian River, the river itself named for the Russian fur traders who came down from Alaska in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The Russian River is agricultural land. While there is a focus on wine, beyond the vineyards are many small, family-owned farms cultivating everything from cattle to Christmas trees.
Notable FactsThe proximity of this cool river and the rolling fogs from the Pacific Ocean make the area amenable to cool-climate grapes like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. In fact, the region is quite known for its full-bodied, yet elegant Pinot Noir, as well as their ripe, yet lean Chardonnays. Within Russian River Valley lie the smaller appellations of Chalk Hill and Green Valley. Chalk Hill is the warmer of the two and furthest from the ocean, while Green Valley is cooler and closer to the water.
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.