Aubert Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay 2008
Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
#27Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2010
Wine Spectator - "Bold, rich and expressive, layered and complex, offering tiers of ripe citrus and lemon peel, pear and melon, with touches of hazelnut and spice. Ends with a rich, smoky butterscotch flavor that gives this added dimension. Drink now through 2015."
The Wine Advocate - "The 2008 Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard comes from 30+ year old vines of the Old Wente clone, which was apparently a suitcase clone taken from Louis Latour's parcels in Corton-Charlemagne, just north of Beaune. It exhibits a beautiful honeyed citrus, nectarine, crushed rock, honeysuckle and tropical fruit blossom-scented bouquet, terrific stuffing, good acidity and wonderful density as well as richness. Because of the tiny yields in that vintage, the 2008s tend to be more concentrated than the 2009s, which are more elegant, lower in alcohol and not quite as dense."
International Wine Cellar - "Deep, slightly hazy yellow. Vibrant aromas of orange rind, dried lemon, crushed stone and floral oils. Round, sweet and lush but with a firm spine of acidity providing shape. The wine's sexy sweetness and fruit intensity are nicely counterpointed by a saline minerality. More opulent than the Lauren but perhaps not quite as gripping on the finish."
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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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