Mark Aubert has been a native of Napa Valley since the age of eleven. His father, a drug store owner, made Petit Syrah and Cabernet on the side. Mark graduated from St. Helena High and Fresno State with a degree in enology and a double minor in viticulture and chemistry. As winemaker for Peter Michael Winery, he crafted some of America's most acclaimed Chardonnays for nearly a decade. Then this spring, he scored a smash with Cabernet Sauvignon.
He then went on to work his way up to winemaker at Rutherford Hill, Monticello
Cellars, Peter Michael, Helen Turley. Then Mark announced that he'll be leaving Peter Michael and taking over the winemaking for Napa Valley's ultra-cult-Cab Colgin. Presently focusing on his own label with traditions deeply entrenched in Californian and Burgundian techniques, Mark has planted a 7 acre chardonnay vineyard on the Vine Hill appellation near Forestville-Sonoma, as well as another 6 acres of chardonnay and 1.5 acres of pinot noir at a vineyard down the street. Mark and his wife, Teresa celebrated the release of their first chardonnay under their own label, Aubert in 2002. They welcomed their first child, Lauren in September 2001. In addition to Aubert Wines, Mark Aubert still retains a consulting position at Colgin.
Aubert's own dream of building a winery is, so far, unpaid for. At harvest time, refrigerated trucks race his grapes to Laird Family Estate Winery, a custom crush facility in Napa. The smell of newly harvested Chardonnay is, according to Aubert, practically overwhelming. "You slide open the truck's rear door and the smells are hypnotic—quince, citrus, dried apricot, all the aromatics that have been trapped inside." Aubert makes, bottles and cellars his wines at Laird.
Aubert Chardonnay Sonoma Coast Lauren 2004
The Chardonnays crafted by Sonoma visionary Mark Aubert leave most collectors nearly speechless with desire. The Lauren Chardonnay is comprised of the rarest selections of chardonnay. The production in 2004 was a scant two and a quarter tons per acre--a yield which has been our standard for all of the Aubert Chardonnay Vineyards. the grapes were picked in the early morning and moved in a refrigerated truck to ensure the utmost attention in preserving the flavor nuances of the grape. As with all of
their Chardonnays, primary fermentation is conducted in barrel and took nearly 7 months to complete. This long and arduous process results in wines with outstanding freshness, lively aromatics and telltale nuances that are intriguing and site specific. Aged in 80 percent new French oak barrels for 11 months, and then carefully racked to tank. As with all of
their wines, they let them rest and clarify in tank for another 3 months before bottling. A stunning wine, with amazing richness, depth, purity of flavor and concentration, with layers of ripe pear, crème brûlée, date, apricot and hazelnut flavors that glide along on a silky smooth texture, with a finish that keeps revealing extra flavor nuances.
Rated 96 Wine Spectator