"Absolutely profound is the 2014 Chardonnay Eastside, from the vineyard owned by well-known viticulturalist and farmer Ulises Valdez and planted with a suitcase Montrachet clone on a low-yielding root stock called Riparia Gloire. Smoky crème brûlée notes intermixed with white peach, nectarine, orange marmalade, honeysuckle and buttered apples all jump from the glass of this great Chardonnay that is Grand cru quality, incredibly pure, dense, and long." –Oct-16
"Aubert's 2014 Chardonnay Eastside Vineyard is one of the most intriguing wines in this range. Initially a touch reduced, the Eastside is slow to get out of the gate. Of all the wines in this range, the Eastside has the lowest pH and highest acidity. Although wine can rarely be reduced to a simple number, those readings partly explain why the Eastside is slow to awaken in the glass. When it does, the wine is striking, with superb aromatic and chiseled fruit, all supported by beams of salinity. Most of Mark Aubert's 2014 Chardonnays can be enjoyed with minimal cellaring. The Eastside is not one of them. Readers need to be patient here."
"Young and vibrant, presenting a raw, edgy texture amid smoky, toasty oak, with fig, nectarine and citrus flavors woven throughout. Impressive for the long aftertaste. Drink now. 800 cases made." –Jun-16
The Eastside's rocky slopes and cobbled soil help to produce small, concentrated grape clusters and thus powerful mineral-driven wines. Grapes are harvested at night. Primary and secondary fermentation are conducted in barrel and take nearly six months to complete. The wine is aged in 85% new French oak barrels for 10 months, then carefully racked to tank where it rests for another four months before bottling.
In 2014, another season marked by drought, there was just enough late winter rain to allow adequate vine shoot growth. As the soils dried, the vines’ attention quickly turned to ripening a medium sized crop of extremely concentrated grapes. Fortunately, the growing season of 2014 did not have any heat waves and harvest arrived with the grapes possessing incredible flavors and natural acids. The 2014 Chardonnays remarkably unite the hallmarks of the 2012 and 2013 vintages. The wines carry the depth and potency of 2012 and the precision and energy of 2013.