Aubert Eastside Russian River Chardonnay 2018
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
A powerful nose of dried pineapple, lime curd, dried lemon zest, white pepper, clove and a touch of burnt match. Pear blossom, too. Finely crafted, seamless layers of fruit, crushed stones and smoke. It’s full-bodied, tight and compact, elegant and sophisticated all at once. A beautiful wine. Such balance. Drink or hold.
The 2018 Chardonnay Eastside leaps from the glass with exuberant scents of grapefruit, lemon meringue, fresh lime juice and white blossoms, followed by hints of oyster shell, blanched almonds and white pepper plus a waft of nutmeg. The full-bodied palate is very finely knit, exuding finesse and possessing bags of vivacity and freshness, finishing long with enticing nut and spice box notes. Eastside is a warmer site in Russian River, composed of very rocky, gravelly soils, forcing the vines to really struggle. It is planted to Montrachet clone. Aubert usually harvests this second, after Sugar Shack.
A vibrantly crisp version, with notes of dried savory herbs to the freshly cut green apple and Asian pear flavors. Offers intense minerality, showing smoky accents on the powerful and well-structured finish. Best from 2022 through 2026.
Mark Aubert’s Sonoma Coast vineyard-designate Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs have risen in popularity at a dizzying speed. Aubert’s career in winemaking began in 1989 at Peter Michael under the tutelage of Helen Turley, which led to his time at Colgin, Sloan, Futo and then Bryant Family, before founding Aubert Wines with his wife Teresa in 1999. His wines express the essence of singular terroirs with an effortless grace. Mark crafts the wines of Aubert to speak to a variety of wine lovers with one thing in common – selective palates that expect nothing but the best.
A standout region for its decidedly Californian take on Burgundian varieties, the Russian River Valley is named for the eponymous river that flows through it. While there are warm pockets of the AVA, it is mostly a cool-climate growing region thanks to breezes and fog from the nearby Pacific Ocean.
Chardonnay and Pinot Noir reign supreme in Russian River, with the best examples demonstrating a unique combination of richness and restraint. The cool weather makes Russian River an ideal AVA for sparkling wine production, utilizing the aforementioned varieties. Zinfandel also performs exceptionally well here. Within the Russian River Valley lie the smaller appellations of Chalk Hill and Green Valley. The former, farther from the ocean, is relatively warm, with a focus on red and white Bordeaux varieties. The latter is the coolest, foggiest parcel of the Russian River Valley and is responsible for outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.