Chardonnay Lauren Estate - 100 points
Mark Aubert notes that this is a complex vineyard. It is planted to four different clones: two Old Wente clones, Mount Eden and Corton Charlemagne. The 2017 Chardonnay Lauren Estate starts out with a quiet intensity of ripe pears, apricot tart and spiced apples notes, growing exponentially to reveal a whole spectrum of savory/earthy nuances: marzipan, cashews, yeast extract, oolong tea, chalk dust and nutmeg. Full-bodied, the palate truly lets off the flavor fireworks, giving up loads of citrus, stone fruit, pears and savory flavors plus a racy backbone, finishing very long and very moreish.
Chardonnay Powder House - 97+ points
The first vintage of this wine, the 2017 Chardonnay Powder House comes from eight acres of what are now estate-owned vines planted in 2013, to Hyde Old Wente and Mt. Eden clones on Goldridge soils. The vineyard is located in downtown Forestville, right across from the high school. At 15.4% alcohol, like Aubert’s other single-vineyard, singular Chardonnays, this baby is no shrinking violet. Although it is a little youthfully closed to begin, it unwinds with coaxing to offer glimpses at baked apple, poached pears, peach preserves and pineapple upside-down cake plus hints of praline, crème brûlée and clover honey. Full-bodied, the palate features a wicked backbone of freshness, beautifully lifting all those concentrated, densely packed flavors, finishing very long and wonderfully pure.
Chardonnay UV-SL - 99 points
Fermented and aged in 80% new French oak barrels, the 2017 Chardonnay UV-SL flaunts a wonderfully Puligny-esque nose, featuring a subtle, elusive matchstick character over the bold grapefruit, white peaches and lemon pie scents plus nuances of cashews, melted candle, crushed rocks and oyster shells. Full-bodied, the palate is arrestingly elegant with a whole myriad of nuances, delivering seamless freshness at its core and finishing very long with loads of lingering savory notes.
Chardonnay CIX Estate - 99 points
Planted in 2008 to Montrachet clone, the 2017 Chardonnay CIX Estate is so delightfully savory, you could make a whole meal of it! It opens with bags of praline, pain grille, allspice and dill seed notions over a core of baked apples, pear tart, aniseed and lime leaves plus a touch of sea spray. Full-bodied, the palate has fantastic texture with a little chewy grip countering the slight oiliness and supporting the savory layers beautifully, finishing long and refreshing. Man, I just personally love the style of this wine!
Chardonnay Eastside Vineyard - 98 points
Eastside is a warmer site in Russian River that is composed of very rocky, gravelly soils and planted to Montrachet clone. It is usually harvested second, after Sugar Shack. The 2017 Chardonnay Eastside struts out of the glass with confident notes of green guava, honeydew melon, fresh nectarine and lemonade plus touches of struck match, brioche, roasted almonds and candied ginger. Full-bodied, the palate has amazing concentration and energy, giving mouth-coating citrus and tropical fruit flavors, finishing fantastically long and mineral laced.
Chardonnay Larry Hyde & Sons Vineyard - 97 points
The 2017 Chardonnay Larry Hyde & Sons explodes from the glass with bombastic lime cordial, pink grapefruit and rhubarb pie scents with suggestions of fresh ginger, green mango and acacia honey plus a touch of praline. Full-bodied, the palate has a wonderfully savory undercurrent with brioche nuances complementing the powerful tropical fruit, framed by great freshness, finishing with epic length.