||2008 Aubert Larry Hyde and Sons Vineyard Chardonnay - 96-99 pts! 1st Vintage From Carneros, the 2008 Chardonnay Larry Hyde and Sons Vineyard is the most tropical fruit-scented Aubert offering, and it reveals more bold hues to its straw/green color. A dense nose of marmalade, nectarines and tropical fruit (pineapple) is followed by full-bodied, intense flavors and a stony minerality that emerges with coaxing. This is a big, bold, California-styled Chardonnay The 2008 Chardonnay Larry Hyde and Sons Vineyard (the debut vintage of this offering) offers prodigious notes of citrus oil, nectarines, orange blossoms, apples, and a liquid wet stone-like component that gives the wine minerality as well as uplift. It is reminiscent of a Coche-Dury Corton-Charlemagne. Despite the use of 100% new French oak, the wood is buried under a cascade of fruit, layers of flavor, great acidity, and fabulous purity. This remarkable Chardonnay should evolve for a decade or more. In only a handful of years, Mark Aubert, who received impeccable training at Peter Michael winery, working under Helen Turley, as well as at Colgin and Bryant Family Vineyards, has produced mind-boggling wines under his own label. With the addition of the Hyde Vineyard cuvee, he now produces four Chardonnays as well as two Pinot Noirs. Additional selections should begin to emerge as Aubert is moving away from any consulting business to concentrate on his own winery. His 2008's are candidates for the wines of the vintage, no doubt because of the extraordinarily low yields (his smallest crop to date). This has given the wines an extra level of concentration, which is saying something given the levels of richness achieved in previous vintages. The 2007 Chardonnays confirm the greatness I predicted for them from barrel in 2008. While this was a small crop for Aubert, it was not nearly as tiny as 2008. Aubert prefers to work with the Calera clone of Pinot Noir, although his two vineyards include both the Calera and a suitcase clone from one of Burgundy's most famous Vosne-Romanee vineyards.