Aubert Chardonnay - Is the house style changing?

We had the 2013 Larry Hyde Carneros Chard tonight. It was a baby, but outstanding. Notably different from my earliest Auberts - the 2004s. Over the years, I have noticed a gradual evolution of the house style to a less creamy, higher acid, laser sharp, less oaky presentation. The 2013 was perhaps fully through the evolutionary process. There were notes of Granny Smith Apples and lemon to add to other white fruits. Paired very well with seared scallops and rare belly tuna.

This is not just 2013 vs. 2004. I have noticed this gradual shift since perhaps 2007. It appeared first in the Ritchie and then spread to the rest. Is it just me, or have others noticed as well?

PS: The 2013 Larry Hyde was a GREAT wine. Loved it.

I would love for that to be the case, as I found the Aubert Chards from the mid-00s big and portly, and the Pinots thoroughly undrinkable (not hyperbole - I dumped glasses at multiple dinners).

Kistler went through the evolution from BOOM to boom towards the end of the decade and the wines were much improved for it.

I think what you are experiencing is specific to the hyde and not Aubert as a whole.

I don’t think so. I have noticed higher acidity and lighter oak treatment in other SVDs, and I drink a not insignificant amount.

i agree with Jay. These are not IPOB wines by any stretch but the style has moved i believe - at a “portfolio level” closer to what the Quarry Vineyard wines were like in the early 00s.

To my mind the 2012s and 13s i have had are absolutely wonderful wines

Which brings up a funny topic, does anyone still even care about IPOB?

Do a search on IPOB and you will find out.

It’s heartening to hear—I hope I’ll have a chance to taste-drive some of the recent vintages for myself, since I was worrying about how big the Ritchies were getting. I ran a vertical of Ritchie 3 years ago, 2002-2009 and the 2002 and 2007 were the winners (I think the 07 ended up being my WOTY that year). The 02 kind of reminded me of a Chevy Montrachet.

Alex, belated welcome to the board!


I’m pretty sure he still uses 100% new oak on everything. That’s what a Wine Advocate write-up said last year. I don’t know if the amount of time spent in those barrels has changed.

Thanks Mike! I’ve been checking out the forum for years since Todd turned me on to it. Finally decided to take some action and join the discussion… Been fun so far

Oh boy - Way better ways to spend time. (As if posting to the board in general is a great use of time hahah)

Hey, you asked. One of these days, Todd will create a separate forum called “Lightning Rod” and all threads regarding IPOB, Maison Ilan, Premier Cru, SQN, Robert Parker and a few others will be immediately diverted to that forum.

The 2013 Ritchie was probably the best Aubert I have ever had. I am not the biggest fan but I family member stays well stocked on Aubert.

My note here



I have noticed this also. Perhaps a mix of vintage characteristics and subtle changes in winemaking.