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California White Wines

California White Wines

California White Wines

If you’re in the mood for a creative, compelling white wine, few regions can compete with California, and it’s immense varietal diversity. With the pure, potent essence of grapes such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, and Pinot Gris, these wines will stimulate your senses and arouse your intellect. Give in, and enjoy.
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2018 Aubert Chardonnay CIX

CIX stands for 109, because this was originally called “Parcel 109” when Aubert bought the vineyard. Planted in 2008 to Montrachet clone, the 2018 Chardonnay CIX Estate is wonderfully intense, exploding from the glass with lime cordial, apricot and mandarin peel scents of citrus, followed by suggestions of jasmine, honey toast and marzipan with a touch of coriander seed. The full-bodied palate is jam-packed with expressive citrus and stone fruit layers, framed by an electric line of freshness and finishing long with amazing purity and precision.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 99 RPAnother Sonoma Coast release, the 2018 Chardonnay CIX just about knocks it out of the park, offering a medium/lighter gold hue, a huge nose of ripe pineapple, caramelized pears, flower oil, nectarines, and salty minerality, full-bodied richness, integrated acidity, and a stunning finish. It’s everything you expect from a Chardonnay from Mark Aubert – stunning purity, opulence paired with freshness, incredible length, and flawless balance. Drink it over the coming decade.Jeb Dunnuck | 99 JDLots of ripe-nectarine, lemon-curd, dried-mango and smoked-cashew aromas. Salted butter notes. Ash, too. It’s full-bodied, creamy and smooth with a gradual and graceful evolution of ripe fruit to stone and flint on the finish. Solid density. Agile. Better in a year or two.James Suckling | 98 JSThe 2018 Chardonnay CIX Vineyard is a seamless, gorgeous beauty. Orchard fruit, mint, white pepper and floral notes all run through this super-expressive, alluring Chardonnay from Mark Aubert. In the glass, the CIX is understated and nuanced rather than overt. I find it absolutely mesmerizing.Vinous Media | 94-97 VMRestrained but immediately compelling, pretty, creamy nose. The palate dismisses the dairy notes and becomes immediately more flavourful, the acidity growing in intensity and driving through to a long, succulent finish. A beautiful dance between softness and power. This wine truly appeals to me on both a personal and professional level – well crafted and deliciously delivered.Decanter | 97 DECFeatures a steely structure, with concentrated freshly cut apple, brioche and Asian pear flavors, supported by crunchy acidity. Pure and minerally midpalate, offering a long finish that echoes with subtle sea salt and chamomile accents. Best from 2022 through 2027. 1,085 cases made.Wine Spectator | 95 WS

99
JD
As low as $199.00
2018 aubert chardonnay hudson vineyard California White

Ripe-peach, chalk, smoked-almond, matchstick and phenolic aromas. Floral notes, too. It’s full-bodied, creamy and oily. So balanced and restrained, yet dense and impressive. Minerally. Give this time.James Suckling | 99 JSThe 2018 Chardonnay Hudson is sourced from Hudson selection, Old Wente clone vines that are 22 years old and planted on the Napa side of Carneros. The nose is redolent of butterscotch, baked apples, spice cake and chopped cashews with a core of baked pineapples and preserved lemons. The rich, full-bodied, decadently fruited palate offers layer upon layer of savory flavors with compelling lemony sparks and a seamless acid backbone, finishing seductively creamy and on a long-lingering honey-nut note.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97 RPThe 2018 Chardonnay Hudson Vineyard is another superb wine in this range. Unctuous and creamy, with striking freshness, the Hudson has so much to offer. White pepper, mint, orchard fruit and lemon confit are all given an extra kick of intensity in this racy, beautifully layered Chardonnay from Aubert.Antonio Galloni | 94-97 AGConcentrated poached pear and apple pastry flavors are plush and open-textured. Shows juicy richness midpalate. Buttery pastry notes linger on the finish. Drink now through 2024. 851 cases made.Wine Spectator | 92 WS

99
JS
As low as $199.00
2019 Aubert Chardonnay CIX

A barrel sample, the 2019 Chardonnay CIX Estate comes bounding out of the glass with grapefruit, green mango and orange peel notes backed up by wafts of talc, chopped nuts and a lifted, aromatic, floral perfume. It is full-bodied and intensely flavored in the mouth with a lively backbone cutting through the taut, dense citrus and tropical fruit flavors, finishing long and fragrant.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96-98 RPSo much character on the nose here. Notes of ripe citrus, stone fruit and elderberry. Full-bodied with an oily texture and soft, staying presence. A mix of woody spice and mint creates pleasant tension between warm and cool. Such a layered and intriguing wine. Totally delicious. Pine at the finish. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 98 JSThe 2019 Chardonnay CIX Vineyard is powerful, explosive and also very phenolic in feel. There is real density in the CIX. Lemon oil, marzipan, white flowers, ripe pear and mint are all beautifully delineated. The CIX is deep but also wonderfully transparent. The cool growing season yielded a Chardonnay of remarkable finesse. This site, planted with Montrachet Clone Chardonnay, was the last to be picked.Vinous Media | 94-96 VMPowerful 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. 1,282 cases made.Wine Spectator | 95 WS

98
JS
As low as $185.00
2019 aubert chardonnay eastside California White

The 2019 Chardonnay Eastside Vineyard is deep, powerful and packed. Lemon confit, crushed rocks, menthol, graphite, chamomile and vanillin infuse the 2019 with striking layers of dimension. Bright acids give the sculpted finish tremendous persistence. Montrachet clone on Riparia rootstock in a rocky site yields a Chardonnay of rare distinction and class.Antonio Galloni | 98-100 AGA lovely nose of fresh herbs and ground, peppery spice with fresh flowers, lime leaf and baked citrus. Full-bodied and speckled with white pepper and honeysuckle. Driving and well-balanced acidity is at the center of the palate and makes it hum with fruitful intensity. Such a pleasure to drink. Truly superb. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 99 JSA barrel sample, the 2019 Chardonnay Eastside sails out of the glass with zesty citrus scents of lemons, kaffir lime leaves and mandarin peel with an underlying jasmine perfume and a waft of blanched almonds. The palate is tightly wound and very finely knit, delivering loads of nuanced layers and a crisp backbone, finishing long and steely.Eastside is a warmer site in Russian River, composed of very rocky, gravelly soils, forcing the vines to really struggle. It is planted to Montrachet clone. Aubert usually harvests this second, after Sugar Shack.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96-98 RPThis 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. 1,014 cases made.Wine Spectator | 97 WS

98-100
VM
As low as $499.00
2021 aubert chardonnay eastside California White

From a somewhat warmer site on thin, volcanic soils overlooking the Russian River, Eastside—originally a collaboration between Ulises Valdez and Mark Aubert—features a Montrachet selection planted on riparia rootstock. Despite plenty of new French oak in the élevage, there’s only a faintly fumé, crushed-stone character on the nose, which nicely sets off the wine’s white peach and lime notes. Full-bodied and generous but sturdily built, with an imposing structure, the 2021 Chardonnay Eastside is powerful and long on the finish. The crop was virtually wiped out by a spring frost in 2020, but the vines rebounded in 2021, yielding 1,400 cases.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95-97 RPThe 2021 Chardonnay Eastside Vineyard marries textural richness and vibrancy in grand style. There’s terrific energy here, the result of poor, stressed soils that naturally limit yields. Bright acids and veins of minerality drive this focused Chardonnay. Citrus, orchard fruit, ginger and light tropical accents build into the intensely saline finish. Superb.Vinous Media | 95-97 VMThis shows a seductive oily texture with pineapple, lime, lemon, cooked apple, and a little brioche. Some green mango. Lots of minerality. Full-bodied. Layered with amazing acidity. A very contrasting wine with richness and liveliness. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 97 JS

98
TWI
As low as $169.00
2021 aubert chardonnay sugar shack vineyard California White

So much gunpowder to the lemon rind and cooked apple aromas. Goes flinty. Lemon curd. Some sliced pineapple. Full-bodied with a compacted palate and a glossy texture to it. Very, very creamy. Honey. Candied lemon. Oily, but then goes fresh and zesty. Drinkable now, but will age beautifully.James Suckling | 98 JSThe 2021 Chardonnay Sugar Shack is a classic Mark Aubert wine. Creamy and ample in feel, the 2021 is super-expressive right out of the gate. Soft, silky contours frame lemon confit, white flowers, tangerine oil and lightly honeyed overtones that appear with aeration. All the elements are so well balanced. The Sugar Shack is one of the more immediate wines in this range and will drink well pretty much upon release.Vinous Media | 94-96 VMThe warmest site in Aubert’s portfolio, the 2021 Chardonnay Sugar Shack comes from Mark and Teresa’s home property on the western side of the Rutherford AVA. Planted in 2008 to a Montrachet selection and managed by David Abreu, it offers up attractive aromas of toasted hazelnuts and ripe peaches. Big, broad and fleshy in the mouth, it turns a bit angular on the finish, providing a bright, fresh counterpoint to the earlier opulence. 700 cases produced.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93-95 RP

99
TWI
As low as $185.00
2021 aubert uv-sl vineyard chardonnay California White

Pie crust with brioche, lemon meringue, lime leaf, and blackboard chalk. Very aromatic. Full-bodied, with terrific structure and incredibly complex on the finish with seaweed and umami. Sea breeze, iodine and oyster finish. Superb wine. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 99 JSThe 2021 Chardonnay UV-SL comes from largely Goldridge soils in parcels owned and managed by the Valdez family (UV being the initials of Ulises Valdez, Aubert’s frequent vineyard collaborator, who died in 2018). There are 2,000 cases of this elixir, which offers up classic notes of toasted hazelnuts, white peaches and citrus zest. It’s full-bodied, rich and opulent yet contained and controlled, with great silky length and energy. Aubert describes the oak thusly: "The oak is perfect. It just kisses you with a bit of vanilla and cookie dough." The wine is certainly delicious, and thinking back on it, I wonder if my rating is a bit conservative.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96-98 RPThe 2021 Chardonnay UV-SL Vineyard is one of the more exotic wines in the range. Initially a bit ethereal, the 2021 opens beautifully on the mid-palate and finish, where it shows tremendous breadth and notable mineral intensity. The UV-SL is not quite as obvious as some of the other wines in this range, but its pedigree is evident. There’s real density here, and tons of class.Vinous Media | 95-97 VM

98
TWI
As low as $179.00
2021 paul lato kokoro chardonnay California White

Coming from a cellar selection and a tiny production release, the 2021 Chardonnay Kokoro has exotic aromatics of tangerine, citrus oil, tropical flowers, and spice that give way to more racy citrus and minerality with time in the glass. Medium to full-bodied, concentrated, and flawlessly balanced, it’s another heavenly Chardonnay from Lato that readers will love. Give bottles a year and enjoy through 2031.Jeb Dunnuck | 98 JDThe 2021 Chardonnay Kokoro is especially fine in this vintage. It marries the energy of the year with some of the textural richness readers have come to expect from Paul Lato. Orchard fruit, marzipan, mint, tangerine and white flowers build effortlessly. The Kokoro, Lato’s top Chardonnay, is superb in 2021.Vinous Media | 95 VM

98
JD
As low as $89.99

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