PinotFile's Princely Pinot Selection - November 2009
by Rusty Gaffney, Avalon Wine Guest Columnist
Aubin Cellars is a boutique producer of Pinot Noir, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, French Colombard and Gewürztraminer under the “Verve” label based in Oakland, California. The name, Verve, translates literally as “crafted with enthusiasm, vigor and integrity.”
Verve is also a bilingual French-American noun reflecting the bicultural background of Aubin Cellars’ proprietor, Jérôme Aubin. French-born Aubin is an importer of artisan oak barrels from Tonnellerie Rousseau of Burgundy, Tonnellerie Saint-Martin of Bordeaux, Tonnellerie Allary of Cognac, A&K Cooperage of Missouri, and Balazs Cooperage of Hungary. He also imports wine concrete tanks from Nomblot of Burgundy and Lejeune Wine Tanks. The Verve label was founded in 2001.
Aubin uses the talents of several winemakers including Loren Tayerie, previously with David Bruce Winery and Rosenblum Cellars, for the California Pinot Noir bottlings, and Ray Walsh, formerly of King Estate and now with his own label Capitello, for the Oregon Pinot Noirs. The Verve Pinot Noirs have been consistently fine over the past few vintages and inexpensive considering the quality. The artwork on the distinctive labels is attractive.
I recently sampled four of the 2007 vintage Verve Pinot Noirs released in July 2009. The wines are styled in an elegant fashion with admirable harmony, great pinotosity and are very approachable now.
at right, Loren Tayerie
PinotFile's Princely Pinot Selection for November:
Aubin Cellars Momtazi Vineyard Pinot noir 07
by Rusty Gaffney
13.5% alc.,150 cases, $33. Yields 2.2 tons per acre average. Pommard and 777. Biodynamic farming. 100% de-stemmed but not crushed. Fermented in one Rousseau 2-ton French oak open top fermenter. Manual punch downs. Minimal cold soak and average cuvaison of 12 days. Aged 18 months in 40% new French oak from Tonnellierie Rousseau. Bottled unfined and aged an additional 5 months in bottle. ·
On the nose there are darker-toned fruits with notes of pepper and forest floor. Tasty core of dark berry fruit elegantly presented with supple tannins. More body than the Stoller bottling and more persistence on the finish. A feminine wine that delivers a good dose of charm. Very good.