Appellation: Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County
Rated 98-100 points by the Wine Advocate: "We finished the Chardonnay portion of the tasting with Mark Aubert`s favorite wine, the 2012 Chardonnay Lauren Estate, which comes from rich Goldridge soils. There are 1,000 cases of this straw/greenish-colored beauty fashioned from various clones, including the Old Wente, Hyde, Hudson Corton-Charlemagne selection and the Mt. Eden clones. It possesses more of a tannic backbone than its siblings because of its grip. Full-bodied with lots of honeyed citrus, orange marmalade and abundant fruit on the attack and mid-palate, this youthful Chardonnay seems barely touched by its oak aging. All of these 2012s will be irresistible when released in 2014, but should age beautifully for 6-10+ years.?" -- 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."