Aubert Eastside Chardonnay 2021
"This 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 points Drink 2023-33
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.
The 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 mineral drive this focused Chardonnay. Citrus, orchard fruit, ginger and light tropical accents build into the intensely saline finish. Superb.