Russian River Valley
Since 2001, Aubin Cellars’ Russian River Verve Pinot Noir has come from some of the most premium vineyards in the Russian River Valley. One, the Vine Hill Ranch, is located between Sebastopol and Forestville on gently sloping hills. Primarily grown on our favorite G and C Blocks in sandy Goldridge soil, these irrigated vineyards were planted in 1996 and yield an average of 2.5 tons per acre. Over the last two vintages, we have added to our Russian River blend a new source of fruit, the Hallberg Vineyard. This vineyard is located in the very heart of the Russian River Valley, just 2 miles North of Sebastopol, and lies on both sides of Highway 116. The soil of this vineyard is also all Goldridge series – sandy and well-drained – and the surface slopes from 3 to 15% toward the southwest, giving the vines optimum sun exposure. Because the vineyards are located at the top of the ridge, the vines are kept cool by the gentle breezes that blow from the Pacific in the summer and fall afternoons. The cool nights allow acid retention in the grapes and the marine layer of fog cloaks of the vineyard almost daily from early evening to mid-morning during summer and fall. The choice of more mature and concentrated fruit enables us to craft a Russian River Valley blend that truly has the potential for serious aging.
Since 2004, Aubin Cellars has been producing a Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. This coastal blend is sourced from several vineyards that share the influence of the Pacific Ocean and its cold fog. One of our key Sonoma Coast vineyard sources is the Crane Vineyard located South of Santa Rosa at the base of Crane Canyon Road. This vineyard benefits from the cool ocean air that sweeps down from Bodega Bay on its way up Bennett Valley, and ultimately into Sonoma Valley near the town of Kenwood. The Cranes currently farm just over 10 acres of pinot planted to clones 115, 667, 777 and the 'Italian' clones 18 and 20 (which are characterized by deep, black cherry fruit flavors). With minimal or no irrigation the dense soils produce small, intensely flavored berries with classic Pinot character.
Aubin Cellars also produces a Pinot Noir from the Rio San Lucas Vineyard which is planted on the silt, sand and gravel soil of the Salinas River Valley (southeast of the town of Monterey). The vines here range in age up to 40 years, and it is amazing how large vines can get when growing in such soft, river soils. Whole blocks of Pinot look as if they are at least a hundred years old. Through a careful selection of these vineyards, Aubin Cellars’ Rio San Lucas Vineyard Pinot Noir is luscious and designed to express rich, fresh red cherry fruit with an approachable character.
Santa Cruz Mountains
Another Pinot Noir in from the Santa Cruz Mountains is from the Klein Vineyard (clone 115 and 667). This vineyard is situated in the hills above Aptos, close to Corralitos. This site is slightly warmer than the Corralitos area vineyards and produces a slightly more fruit-forward Pinot Noir. Plush and round, this Pinot Noir shows the depth and layers of mountain fruit, as well as the fresh deliciousness of the modern 115 and 667 clones in the planted vineyard.
The history of grape growing estates in the Arroyo Grande Valley dates back to the late 19th century. Located just four miles from the Pacific Ocean, the Laetitia Vineyard is part of a distinct viticultural area whose unique topography makes it one of California’s coolest grape growing regions. Aubin Cellars produces Pinot Noir from several esteemed blocks (“La Colline, “Les Galets”) and clones (667, Martini, 2A) of Laetitia’s vineyards. This truly coastal Pinot Noir is expressive of Central Coast fruit at its best: old world elegance, purity and balance are common descriptors for the Laetitia wine.
Willamette Valley, Oregon
Stoller Vineyards is a 373-acre parcel located on the southern slopes of the Dundee Hills in Yamhill County, Oregon. Originally a turkey farm from the 1940s through the 1980s, the first 10 acres of Chardonnay and 10 acres of Pinot Noir were planted in 1995. The vineyard now has 176 acres under vine, the majority of which is planted to Pinot Noir. The approach at Stoller Vineyards encompasses recent breakthroughs in vineyard layout and viticulture techniques, combined with a respect for traditional winegrowing methodology. The Stollers believe that by combining the best of both worlds, the vineyard will yield more consistently ripened fruit from vintage to vintage, leading to greater wine quality. At Aubin Cellars, the Stoller’s vineyard has always reminded us of Burgundy with its rolling slopes perched in the Dundee Hills. The wine made from the 115 and 777 clones has a bright red fruit purity and mouth-watering acidity.
Aubin Cellars sources 2 clones of Pinot Noir (777 and Pommard) from the Momtazi Vineyard. The Momtazi Vineyard is situated on the Nekia and Yamhill series soil around McMinnville, Oregon. This vineyard is farmed according to the philosophy of biodynamics and sustainability: its goal is to reduce the amount of outsourced inputs, and eventually eliminate the need for them all together. This is especially important with wine, as the maintenance of a unique sense of place is essential in maintaining the vineyard’s sense of terroir. Our Momtazi Vineyard Pinot Noir combines macerated cherry flavors with complex notes of dried roses, gingerbread, toffee, and hints of clean, loamy earth.
Aubin cellars also produced a 2005 and 2008 Gewurztraminer, a dessert wine he called “Janka”, dedicated to his sweetheart. Our Janka wine displays a beautiful golden color, and intense floral perfume, and offers flavors of honey, apricots, and nectarine.
Aubin Cellars is also making a beautiful Syrah from Eastern Washington. 100% of this Columbia Valley fruit is sourced from the well-respected Bouschey Vineyard, close to the town of Grandview in the mid-Yakima Valley at 900-1200 feet elevation. These Syrah vines are characterized by good soil drainage, cooler climate and later fruit ripening; they produce a wine that deliciously walks the tight rope between Rhone spice and structure and New World ripe fruit-forwardness.
We also source Syrah from the picturesque rolling hills of the Sonoma Mountain appellation to craft a very concentrated and black fruit Syrah. This wine is made from mature hillside vines, and shows layered floral and ripe fruit aromas focused on berries and plums. It has the structure and depth to age very gracefully.
Cotes de Gascogne, France
Lastly, Jerome Aubin imports a French Colombard from the “domaine de Mirail” located in the heart of Gascony, in southwest France. The specific site is in the Cotes de Gascogne region, and is an old, densely planted vineyard situated on a south-facing limestone and clay hillside. Four months ageing on the lies adds a hint of creaminess and roundness to the wine’s texture, but does not mask the racy acidity typical of Colombard from this region of France.
Our Chardonnay comes from Stuhlmuller Vineyards in the Alexander Valley. Located at the southwestern edge of the valley, along the banks of the Russian River, Stuhlmuller Vineyards possesses gravel, clay, and volcanic soils. The geology of this terrain was formed during thousands of years of alluvial fan movement and flooding. Today, these ancient soils, along with the area's distinctive microclimate, provide the ideal environment for growing world-class Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Zinfandel.