Mark Aubert’s winery first sprang into existence from California’s rich soils in 1999, and ever since, Aubert Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines have been climbing steadily higher in professional and public opinion, like grapevines reaching for the sun. Of course, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are the state’s most prolifically planted varieties. With so many other notable California producers specializing in similar wines—Peter Michael, Williams Selyem, and Donum among them—what is it about Aubert wines that merits an ever-growing waiting list just to join the winery’s mailing list?
You don’t have to travel to Burgundy to find complex white wines with distinctive minerality and finesse. California’s northern Sonoma Coast is home to some of the most reputable Chardonnay producers in the world. Unlike most New-World Chardonnay, which is typically rich and buttery, top-rated Sonoma Chardonnay leans toward an elegant, acidic, and earthy profile. These wines have compelling notes of crisp green apple, refreshing citrus, racy acidity, brine, and wet stone—flavors and aromas that develop even greater depth with age.
Following the Burgundian Grand Cru model, The Donum Estate’s goal is to produce the finest Pinot Noir and Chardonnay possible, as expressed through single-vineyard wines in California’s Carneros, Russian River, and Anderson Valley regions (and soon Bodega, too). The newly released 2017 vintage was just reviewed by Erin Brooks at Wine Advocate and James Suckling…
Sonoma Valley in California has earned a stellar reputation for producing some of the most fascinating wines in the New World. An incredible array of wines is made here, from refined and elegant Pinot Noir that dances delicately on the palate to robust and hedonistic Zinfandel that’s full of unctuous fruit flavors. What makes this region so diverse? More than a dozen microclimates and terroirs are packed into this small county. There are 18 Sonoma wine appellations (called American Viticultural Areas, or AVAs for short), each producing different styles of wine. No two appellations are exactly alike.
If you were to rank the best American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) in the United States, the Russian River Valley wine region would be near the top of the list. This California AVA located in Sonoma is tremendously well-respected among wine experts, who consider it one of the greatest regions in the world for growing complex Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Many of the wines made here are acidic, elegant, and multilayered. These are luscious wines that every collector should experience at least once in a lifetime.