Limited new release from cult Chardonnay producer Mark Aubert.
98 Points Robert Parker: "The 2018 Chardonnay UV-SL comes across as a little shy compared to the Napa Chardonnays, slowly unfurling to reveal oyster shells, peach blossoms, honeysuckle and brine notes over a core of lemon marmalade, crème brûlée and pink grapefruit plus a touch of key lime pie. Full-bodied, the palate is like a tightly coiled spring with loads of tension between the racy acid and all the taut fruit, finishing very long and very minerally. This should be very long-lived!"...
...Mark Aubert is one of the contenders for California’s finest practitioner of Burgundian-styled, yet classic, California Chardonnays. His offerings are all made like grand cru Burgundies with full malolactic, the use of French oak and lees stirring, but the purity of fruit, the textural dimensions, and the stunning singularity of these Chardonnays can only be matched by a handful of other Chardonnay producers in the world. He’s that good. Aubert’s 2012s, which I have enjoyed multiple times out of bottle since I purchased most of them, merit the scores I gave them last year."
One of California's finest Viogniers from the Master John Alban. Very limited.
93 points Robert Parker: "I continue to think John's Central Coast Viognier is one of the best values out there. The 2018 Viognier has a wonderful, classic perfume: honeysuckle and quince with an intense core of peachy fruit plus accents of honeyed oats, baker’s yeast and citrus peel. The palate is medium-bodied, intensely flavored and extraordinarily fresh, finishing very long. So lovely!"
92 Points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): "Pale green-hued yellow. Sexy, highly perfumed aromas of mineral-accented white peach, Anjou pear, melon and orange zest carry a bright floral overtone that gains strength with air. Juicy, fresh and densely packed, displaying a suave interplay of richness and vivacity to the orchard and pit fruit flavors. Shows impressive power and definition on the strikingly long finish, which strongly echoes the peach and floral qualities."
91 Points Jeb Dunnuck: "The Alban Viognier Central Coast and is a serious winner in 2017. Possessing an elegant, medium to full-bodied, ultra-pure profile as well as classic notes of caramelized citrus, white flowers, and hints of orange marmalade, it’s well worth a multi-bottle purchase and will keep for 2-3 years."
John Alban is a pioneering central coast master of Rhône varietals, and his Alban Vineyards label is one of the most sought-out sources for what many consider the pinnacle expressions of these grapes in California. His Viognier wines are routinely hailed as top examples of the varietal, and not just from his neighbors, but from many of the top players in Condrieu as well. From the winery: "We make two Viogniers: A Central Coast bottling that is often more than 75% from our own vineyard, and an Estate bottling. The former showcases the forward heady stone fruit of this variety. It is fermented and aged entirely in stainless steel and bottled early."
One of the best Napa Valley Sauvignon Blancs we've discovered.
The Altamura 2016 Sauvignon Blanc comes from the winery's 4-acre 18-year-old dry-farmed vineyard which sits at an altitude of 850 feet. The wine is fermented and aged in new French oak barrels for 18 months resulting in a wine of great depth and complexity, displaying the flavor and textural profile more like a white Bordeaux than a California Sauvignon Blanc. Very limited production of 500 cases.