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2013 Aubert - Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard

UNITED STATES / CALIFORNIA / SONOMA
abv 15.1%
  • 96 WA
  • 93 WS
  • Variety
    Chardonnay
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SKU: 43157-2013
  • Wine Advocate | Rating: 96

    From the oldest vines that Aubert works with, the 2013 Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard is made from the old Wente clone favored by so many of the top winemakers for Chardonnay. It boasts the wet rocks and candied citrus, the white peach and pineapple notes, has a strong green hue to the light gold color, and a full-bodied, powerful finish. It is a ten-year wine at the minimum.
    Author: Robert Parker
  • Wine Spectator | Rating: 93

    Pure, rich and vibrant, with a sleek build and a tight mix of green apple, citrus, mineral and melon flavors, ending with a juicy aftertaste. A sleek beam of zesty fruit makes this striking.
    Author: James Laube
  • Self | Rating: 97

    Author: Jam02110
  • Self | Rating: 96

    Fantastique Purity, body, and lenght. Burgundy in California!
    Author: Hecwines
  • Self | Rating: 98

    WA 96-98: From Aubert's oldest vines, the 2013 Chardonnay Ritchie (1,000 cases produced) is made from the 40-year-old Chardonnay clone called Old Wente. Candied citrus, wet rocks, Granny Smith apples, white peach and honeysuckle notes are found in this full-bodied, prodigious Chardonnay with crisp acidity buttressing the viscous, full-throttle style. All of these 2013s have at least a decade of aging potential. Mark Aubert is one of the contenders for California's finest practitioner of Burgundian-styled, yet classic, California Chardonnays. His offerings are all made like grand cru Burgundies with full malolactic, the use of French oak and lees stirring, but the purity of fruit, the textural dimensions, and the stunning singularity of these Chardonnays can only be matched by a handful of other Chardonnay producers in the world. He's that good. Aubert's 2012s, which I have enjoyed multiple times out of bottle since I purchased most of them, merit the scores I gave them last year. Those include the 2012 Chardonnay Cix Estate (99), 2012 Chardonnay East Side (99), 2012 Chardonnay Larry Hyde & Sons (96), 2012 Chardonnay Lauren Estate (98+), 2012 Chardonnay Ritchie (95), 2012 Chardonnay Sugar Shack Estate (99), and 2012 Chardonnay UV-SL (96). The 2013 Chardonnays are going to be as extraordinary in quality. Aubert told me they fermented slower than in 2012, and the harvest was earlier in 2013. Despite the fact that the 2013s appear to be crisper with lower pHs, they are still extremely powerful, all pushing 15% natural alcohol. One of the amazing things about Aubert's Chardonnays is that they are aged in 100% new oak, but it is virtually untraceable in any of the wines ' a testament to the quality of the fruit as well as the meticulous vinification and Aclevage practiced by Mark Aubert. Readers should beat a path to his door or mailing list, since he is at the top of his game, producing enormously complex and satisfying wines. Aubert's Chardonnays, which I tend to drink in their first 4-5 years of life, can last well past a decade, but it hard to resist them at any age. The 2013 Pinot Noirs were bottled in July, 2014, and all of them came in around 15% natural alcohol. Aubert tends to use 100% new oak on all these cuvAces, he rarely uses any whole clusters, although some of the wines have between 5-10% stems. I have seen the brilliance of Mark Aubert from many different perspectives from his time as chief winemaker at Peter Michael, then at Colgin and Futo, and now at his own estate on the Silverado trail south of Calistoga. He is clearly at the pinnacle of his profession. Kudos!
    Author: VinoDeparture
Mark Aubert's four Sonoma Coast vineyard-designate Chardonnays - Lauren, Reuling, Quarry and Ritchie - have risen to cult status at a dizzying speed. Production is a limited 4,000 cases and the wines are available via the winery's mailing list. Aubert's career in winemaking reads like a fantasy, with his 1989 start as assistant winemaker at Peter Michael under the tutelage of Helen Turley, to his time at Colgin and Bryant Family. His eponymous wines are exemplary renditions of Chardonnay, replete with the rich bounty of the terroirs from which he sources the fruit. At the same time, they reflect his adept oenological hand, and maintain a focused balance of flavor and purity.

Aubert also makes several Pinot Noirs sourced from the Sonoma Coast as well as a "right-bank" Bordeaux style blend from Napa's Howell Mountain.

See other similar producers:Marcassin,Martinelli Winery,Arietta

California is the heartland of wine production in the US, and the state that brought prestige to American wine thanks to the pioneers who built early wineries like Staglin, Beringer, Ridge, Mayacamas and Chateau Montelena in the 1800s. Its large geographic area ensures a great diversity in growing sites, varieties grown, and quality levels. Generalizations about the state's wines have numerous exceptions; however, a few key facts generally hold true—ample sunshine, dry weather during the growing season, and moderate winters prevail. Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon continue to dominate the state's production—albeit in continually smaller percentages, as growers continue to diversify. More than 100 different varieties can be found throughout the state.

Chardonnay is a versatile variety that can grow in a wide range of climates, and its neutral flavor profile offers a blank canvas for winemakers to impart their style. In cool climates, Chardonnay displays flavors of green fruit and citrus. As the climate becomes more moderate, flavors of white peach and melon develop. In warm and hot climates, aromas of banana, pineapple, and other tropical fruit are common.

The best Old-World Chardonnay comes from Burgundy, where it is uniquely reflective of terroir and can express many different flavor profiles even within this relatively small region. In Chablis, the northernmost part of Burgundy, wines are often unoaked and known for their minerality, high acidity, and aromas of green apple, citrus, wet stone, and slate. In the Côte de Beaune, further south, wines are typically aged in neutral French oak and have flavors of stone fruit, toast, almond, and cream. Burgundian producers pioneered the techniques that are now associated with high-quality Chardonnay around the world, including barrel fermentation, barrel ageing, malolactic fermentation, and maturation on lees. The best wines, from producers like Domaine Leflaive, Bouchard Père & Fils, and Domaine William Fèvre, can age in the bottle for a decade or more, developing complex aromas of nuts and mushroom.

New-World Chardonnay tends to grow in warmer climates than in the Old World, producing wines that are full-bodied, high in alcohol, and low in acidity. Use of American oak imparts flavors of vanilla, clove, hazelnut, butter, and caramel on top of peach and banana fruit. Look to Californian producers in Napa and Sonoma, including Kistler, Peter Michael, and Aubert, for the highest-quality versions of this New-World style.

Chardonnay’s versatility makes it a great option for pairing. High-acid wines from Chablis are the perfect accompaniment to oysters or clams, while oak-forward Napa wines are the best match for buttery lobster. Halibut, cod, and chicken breast are classic pairings with white Burgundy. 

Collector Data For This Wine

  • 511 bottles owned
  • 107 collectors
  • Average collector rating: 97
    (Out of 107 collectors)