Wine Spectator – Spring 2021 – Producer Spotlight

Single-Vineyard Star

Mark Aubert draws on key appellations in Sonoma and Napa to make his single-vineyard Chardonnays, all of which (there are currently nine in the lineup) usually earn outstanding scores and rank among California’s best. His most recent vintage, 2019, is among his most successful to date, led by the stupendous 97-point Eastside cuvée from the Russian River Valley (one of two Aubert wines in the Hot Wines section). It was joined by four other classic-rated wines, including a notable first release from the Park Avenue vineyard… It is also near other top sites, such as Lauren, CIX and Powder House, and features a terroir rich with the Goldridge loams that are key to growing Sonoma’s best grapes.

His other top Sonoma bottling is the UV-SL Vineyard, which lies in the western part of the county on a ridgetop near the village of Occidental. His Napa wines come from two of the leading sites in the cool-climate Carneros district: Hudson and Hyde, while the Sugar Shack hails from Rutherford in mid-Napa Valley. Aubert, a Napa Valley native, built his cellar in Calistoga, and his well-honed winemaking skills there were amplified by nearly ideal climatic conditions for Chardonnay in 2019, which featured mostly mild temperatures with few heat spikes during a long growing season.—Kim Marcus

2019 Aubert Chardonnay CIX Estate Vineyard Sonoma Coast
Score: 95

Powerful and refined, this glides across the palate with concentrated dried apple and pear flavors that show hints of citrus, backed by fresh acidity and almost tannic nuances. The finish unfurls with creamy lushness, minerality and rich, toasty accents. Drink now through 2026. —K.M.

2019 Aubert Chardonnay Eastside Vineyard Russian River
Score: 97

This sings with rich toastiness to the ripe, juicy and powerfully structured white fruit and cooking spice flavors that are backed by firm acidity. Buttery midpalate, with a glistening finish that shows accents of dried tropical fruits. Drink now through 2028. —K.M.

2019 Aubert Chardonnay Hudson Vineyard Carneros
Score: 94

There’s unctuous minerality and savoriness to the baked apple and dried pear flavors that are lacy and well-spiced, with toasty and buttery accents on the broad-textured finish. Elegant and complex. Drink now through 2026. —K.M.

2019 Aubert Chardonnay Larry Hyde and Sons Vineyard Carneros
Score: 96

Rich and powerful, with refined minerality to the creamy mix of Fuji apple and Asian pear flavors. Shows accents of dried mint and sage on the plush finish, with hints of lemon zest and buttery nuances. —K.M.

2019 Aubert Chardonnay Lauren Estate Vineyard Sonoma Coast
Score: 94

Rich acidity supports the focused flavors of Fuji apple, Asian pear and citrus that are vibrant and well-focused. Accents of dried sage midpalate lead to a mineral-infused finish that shows buttery hints. Best from 2022 through 2027. —K.M.

2019 Aubert Chardonnay Park Avenue Estate Vineyard Sonoma Coast
Score: 95

Powerfully fresh, with hints of brioche to the rich white fruit and spice flavors that are packed with rich acidity. Creamy midpalate, with a long, mineral-filled finish that shows accents of sage and hints of anise. Best from 2022 through 2027. —K.M.

2019 Aubert Chardonnay Powder House Estate Vineyard Sonoma Coast
Score: 94

Rich and well-defined apple pastry and dried apricot flavors show notes of tangerine, with hints of toasted coconut. The luscious and well-spiced finish has creamy accents. Drink now through 2026. —K.M.

2019 Aubert Chardonnay Sugar Shack Estate Vineyard Napa Valley
Score: 93

Minerally, fresh and well-spiced, with plenty of toasty notes to the luscious mix of dried apple and glazed pear flavors. Shows hints of dried tarragon on the savory finish. Drink now through 2025. —K.M.

2019 Aubert Chardonnay UV-SL Vineyard Sonoma Coast
Score: 96

Elegant and well-structured, this is filled with fresh acidity backing the lithe white fruit and spice flavors. There’s creamy richness midpalate, with a long, caressing finish that shows accents of ginger and dried tropical fruits. Drink now through 2027. —K.M.