(95 Points) Medium to deep ruby-purple colored, the 2017 Pinot Noir UV-SL Vineyard gives gorgeous black cherries, pomegranate, fresh blackberries and wild blueberries scents with suggestions of licorice, potpourri, chocolate tart and clove with a touch of dried Provence herbs. The palate is full-bodied with a rock-solid frame of grainy tannins and oodles of freshness supporting the flamboyant black and blue fruits, finishing with an exciting herbal lift.
During my tasting visit to the winery in August 2018, Mark Aubert informed me that they were all done picking before the fires in 2017. In fact, I had visited Aubert in 2017 at the end of August, which was the first day of their harvest. Harvest went on for about four more weeks. Marc informed me that the winery was closed up tight during the fires to prevent smoke infiltration. Power went off for about an hour but they have a back up generator, so there was little if any impact on the wines. Ultimately, wines don't lie, and the 2017 tank samples that I tasted with Marc back up up all the information he gave me.
As usual, these 2017 Chardonnays took 4-6 months to complete fermentation. Therefore, Marc pointed out, the alcohol accumulates slowly and integrates very well over that time. It's worth noting that Marc doesn’t rack super clean, offering a little sur lie savoriness to the wines. As always, he never filters anything.
The Pinots saw about 10-15% whole cluster and were bottled in June 2018. All the 2017 Chardonnays will be bottled in mid-December 2018. There is an incredible clarity and depth of flavors revealed in the Chardonnays in particular already and, as readers will take away from my notes and scores, I couldn't be more excited about what 2017 has delivered in the Aubert vineyards. The Wine Advocate