2012 Aubert "Lauren Vineyard" Sonoma County Chardonnay

SKU #1153038 98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Note from 2013 review, re-reviewed with no new note in 2014: 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. 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. (RP) 98+  (12/2014)

95 points Vinous

 Almonds, hazelnuts, pastry and green orchard fruit meld together in Aubert's 2012 Chardonnay Lauren Vineyard. One of the more textured, layered wines, the 2012 impresses for its balance and overall sense of harmony. A racy, perfumed finish rounds things out. (AG)  (1/2014)

95 points Wine Spectator

 Rich and graceful, with layers of anise, fig, apricot, pear and honeydew. This picks up a touch of smoke and hazelnut, ending with a long, sustained finish that reverberates with flavor. Drink now through 2021. (JL)  (7/2014)

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Price: $169.99
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Varietal:

Chardonnay

- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).