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Aubert Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay 2004

Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
  • RP96
  • WS94
15.6% ABV
Other Vintages
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  • RP95
  • RP97
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Try the 2002 Vintage 179 97
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15.6% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
From a vineyard that seems to do well no matter who is making the wine, the 2004 Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard is tropical fruit-dominated with classic California notes of creme brulee, roasted pineapples, hazelnuts, brioche, and plenty of spice. It’s a stunningly full-bodied, exotic, in-your-face offering with terrific underlying acidity. This savory, fresh, vibrant, well-delineated white should last for 7-8 years. This Chardonnay tends to be aged in 100% new oak (which is totally concealed) and is bottled without fining or filtration. Consequently, if it has just been shipped or moved, it can reveal a slight haze.
WS 94
Wine Spectator
Distinctive for its creamy pear, hazelnut, green apple and honeydew melon flavors that are silky and refined, finishing with a long, lingering yet delicate aftertaste. Deceptively concentrated.
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Aubert

Aubert

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Aubert, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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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.

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Sonoma Coast

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A vast appellation covering Sonoma County’s Pacific coastline, the Sonoma Coast AVA runs all the way from the Mendocino County border, south to the San Pablo Bay. The region can actually be divided into two sections—the actual coastal vineyards, marked by marine soils, cool temperatures and saline ocean breezes—and the warmer, drier vineyards further inland, which are still heavily influenced by the Pacific but not quite with same intensity.

Contained within the appellation are the much smaller Fort Ross-Seaview and Petaluma Gap AVAs.

The Sonoma Coast is highly regarded for elegant Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and, increasingly, cool-climate Syrah. The wines have high acidity, moderate alcohol, firm tannin, and balanced ripeness.

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Chardonnay

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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 practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.

ARP153981_2004 Item# 153981