Aubert Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay 2007
Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
Single Vineyard Chardonnay.
The Wine Advocate - "The 2007 Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard is a return to the brilliance of the 2005. From 35-year old, old Wente clone vines (preferred by nearly every top Chardonnay producer in northern California), this cuvee exhibits incredible elegance, crisp acidity, noteworthy minerality, and a full-bodied, substantial personality. Notes of quince, nectarines, honeyed citrus, pineapple, and subtle smoke emerge from this rich, opulent Chardonnay that should drink well for 5-8 years. 94-96 "
Wine Spectator - "A rich, creamy style, with tiers of spicy fig, melon, hazelnut and nutmeg all folding together in a tightly focused core of flavors. Full-bodied and bold, without being heavy, ending with delicacy and finesse. Drink now through 2013."
International Wine Cellar - "Medium yellow. Aromas of lemon drop, wild herbs and honey, with a slightly candied character. Dense and thick but lively, with strong acidity and a floral element lifting the concentrated citrus fruit flavors. The wine's sweetness and silky texture are leavened by its firm acid spine, with a late note of green tea contributing piquancy. Actually rather backward today, with the dry, broad, citric finish showing superb persistence. "
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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.