Appellation: Russian River Valley, Sonoma County
Rated 99-100 points by the Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Chardonnay East Side, a vineyard owned by top viticulturist Ulises Valdez, is a 1,000-case cuvee that reveals a liquified wet stone character intermixed with notes of white currants, quince, honeysuckle, pineapple and peach marmalade. Strong minerality as well as a remarkable finish make this a candidate for perfection. It should drink well for 6-10 years as well.?" -- Robert Parker in Issue #210 of the Wine AdvocateMore information about this producer: "As many delicious wines as I have tasted from Mark Aubert, who has now moved into a beautiful winery on the Silverado Trail in northern Napa, I don`t think I have ever tasted a greater group of Chardonnays than his seven cuvees of 2012. All of them had been moved from barrel to bottling tanks and should be bottled before the end of 2013. Mark Aubert previously worked at Peter Michael, where he apprenticed under his most famous mentor, Helen Turley, followed by stints at Colgin and Futo, two very high-end cult Cabernet Sauvignon producers. His Chardonnays have become enormously popular and sell out as quickly as they become available to consumers. Aubert has made a strong effort to purchase estate vineyards, of which there are now two, the Sugar Shack estate in Rutherford and the Cix Estate on the Sonoma Coast. The following seven 2012 Chardonnays are about as thrilling as wine gets. Interestingly, Mark Aubert said that 2012 was the greatest vintage he had ever seen during his entire career. Aubert uses high percentages of new French oak in the upbringing for his Chardonnays, but you would never know that when tasting. These wines- are all simply remarkable. The four 2012 Pinot Noirs I tasted were all scheduled to be bottled in a few months. The amount of new French oak used in all these cuvees is as follows: the Hyde, Sugar Shack, Cix and East Side see 70%, the UV-SL sees 80%, and the Lauren sees 100%. Also, 80% of Mark Aubert`s production is Chardonnay and the other 20% is Pinot Noir. His production in his new winery has increased to 10,000 cases, virtually all of which is sold out upon release."