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The lineup:

Aubert: 2007 Lauren Chardonnay (WA 97 points)
Peter Michael: 2007 La Carriere Chardonnay (WA 96 points)
Marcassin: 2007 Marcassin Vineyard Chardonnay (WA 99 points)
SQN: 2006 Hoodoo Man (not a totally fair comparison, but it’s the closest I could get with a SQN white) (WA 97 points)

Note: all of these could have benefitted from 2-3 or more years of age. SQN probably would have benefitted from more than that

Color: very comparable across each. Light straw color. SQN was a deeper golden straw, but to be expected given that it is a blend

Nose/taste:

Peter Michael: nice clean citrus nose and notes of lemon on the finish. Pleasant and not overpowering butter/oak notes.

Aubert: very similar to Peter Michael (not surprising given that Aubert trained at Peter Michael) but perhaps with some brighter acidity. Not so much a lemon note as a fuller "fruit note." Not sure how best to describe it, but this wine has a great nose and long-lasting finish.

Marcassin: Definitely more Burgundian in style than Peter Michael or Aubert. I would struggle to adequately capture the taste notes here. There is a light butter note somewhere in the middle, nice acidity but not so definitively lemon as the PM and Aubert.

SQN: A bit of a mystery to me. My palatte has never been able to fully appreciate SQN white. I always walk away thinking, "That was interesting." Certainly not unpleasant, but very different. Bolder, not as bright as they other whites in the lineup (again which makes sense given that it isn't a Chardonnay). A lot of minerality going on and much less pronounced oak/butter notes than in the others. Again, an interesting offering from SQN that is likely quite palate specific.

THE WINNER (among 6 tasters): Aubert was the unanimous winner closely followed by Marcassin (for me) and Peter Michael (5 others in the group who are admitted non-Burgundy fans). We could not fairly compare SQN so people fell into one of three camps -- Love it, Like it, don't care for it. Most people were in the like it camp; 1 was in the Love it because it is so refreshingly different camp; and I still hover in the like it/don't care for it camp.
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quote:
Originally posted by GlennK:
quote:
Originally posted by Shane T.:
Great lineup & notes! Aubert is benchmark for Cali Chards, IMO.
Depends on what style you are trying to benchmark. I think for ripe fruit flavors, butter, toasted oak, Aubert is probably the benchmark.


Agreed. Some others that hit the mark for me:

- Varner "Bee Block & Amphitheater Block"

- Kistler "Durell Vineyard"

- Kongsgaard
quote:
Originally posted by Shane T.:
quote:
Originally posted by GlennK:
quote:
Originally posted by Shane T.:
Great lineup & notes! Aubert is benchmark for Cali Chards, IMO.
Depends on what style you are trying to benchmark. I think for ripe fruit flavors, butter, toasted oak, Aubert is probably the benchmark.


Agreed. Some others that hit the mark for me:

- Varner "Bee Block & Amphitheater Block"

- Kistler "Durell Vineyard"

- Kongsgaard


I'll take the Varner and Mt. Eden most days over the Aubert or some of the others mentioned.
quote:
Originally posted by Shane T.:
quote:
Originally posted by GlennK:
quote:
Originally posted by Shane T.:
Great lineup & notes! Aubert is benchmark for Cali Chards, IMO.
Depends on what style you are trying to benchmark. I think for ripe fruit flavors, butter, toasted oak, Aubert is probably the benchmark.


Agreed. Some others that hit the mark for me:

- Varner "Bee Block & Amphitheater Block"

- Kistler "Durell Vineyard"

- Kongsgaard
I think the Varner is different in style compared to the others you have listed there, although I don't think I've had a wine from Kongsgaard.

My benchmark for CA Chard right now is Ceritas Porter Bass. Really great stuff.
'Helluva line-up! Thanks for sharing.

Count me among the fans of Mark Aubert's Chards, and to prove it, I'm opening a 2008 Ritchie Vineyard tomorrow evening! Big Grin I hear 'butter' used more often as a criticism than as an impartial descriptor, so I usually avoid it, but yes, I find a very attractive butter aspect to Marcassin, Aubert, and Peter Michael - all three.

FWIW, I find that all of Manfred's whites benefit from a healthy decant, and my bet on the '06 Hoodoo Man would be that it is likely still in a somewhat awkward/dormant phase. Elaine claims that their reds don't 'shut down' but that the whites sometimes do.
quote:
Originally posted by otisabdul:
Ordered an 07 Mt Eden Chard at Waterfront restaurant in Maui last nite because of this thread. It was fantastic.

Terrific balance and minerality, with a sunny core of honeysuckle and roasted pear. Long persistent finish and medium body weight. 93P

Mahalo!

O


I think any wine would be fantastic in Maui on the waterfront. Winner
quote:
Originally posted by stickman:
'Helluva line-up! Thanks for sharing.

Count me among the fans of Mark Aubert's Chards, and to prove it, I'm opening a 2008 Ritchie Vineyard tomorrow evening! Big Grin I hear 'butter' used more often as a criticism than as an impartial descriptor, so I usually avoid it, but yes, I find a very attractive butter aspect to Marcassin, Aubert, and Peter Michael - all three.

FWIW, I find that all of Manfred's whites benefit from a healthy decant, and my bet on the '06 Hoodoo Man would be that it is likely still in a somewhat awkward/dormant phase. Elaine claims that their reds don't 'shut down' but that the whites sometimes do.


Stickman . . . good to know. I gave this a fair decant (of about 2 hours), but perhaps it needed more and more age. I'm still trying to find a way to love the SQN whites because their reds are so stellar. Right now I feel like I'm missing something with the whites so this was a good tip.

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