Verve

Owner(s) Jerome Aubin
Web site www.aubincellars.com
 
Link to this site
Proprietor Jerome Aubin is a barrel broker based in the Bay Area of California who imports barrels from Rousseau in Burgundy, Saint-Martin in Bordeaux, and Balazs in Hungary. In 2001 he started his own label with the assistance of winemaker Fred Scherrer who made the wines from 2001 until 2004. Subsequent vintages were made in Oakland by winemaker Loren Tayerle. The word “verve” refers to energy or vitality in expression of artistic ideas. Each label features the work of a special artist. There are three Pinot Noirs from the Sonoma Coast, Russian River Valley, and Willamette Valley of Oregon. The wines are sold on the website and there is retail distribution.

Reviewed Wines

2008 Verve Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 175 cases, $24. Crane Vineyard. · Moderate color in the glass. Complex aromatic profile offering scents of strawberries, cherries, cola, spice, red plum and a hint of gun powder. Tasty core of cherry cola flavor with a light tarry, toasty, smoky note in the background. Mild dry tannins and a fruity finish. Slight smoke taint but otherwise fine. Good. Reviewed August 13, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 Verve Stoller Vineyard Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.5% alc., 75 cases, $30. 100% de-stemmed, fermented in one Rousseau 2 ton French oak open-top fermenter. 14 days on skins. Aged an average of 18 months in 65% new French oak barrels. Bottled March 29, 2010. · Lovely perfume of raspberries, cola and complimentary toasted oak. Fresh flavors of cherries and raspberries with a hint of herbal oak and a citrus tang on the bright finish. Silky, light in weight, with some dusty tannins. A wine with Burgundian sensitivity that can be drunk now. Good. Reviewed January 27, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 Verve Laetitia Vineyard Arroyo Grande Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.65, 294 cases, $33. Clones 3A, 667 and Martini. Fermented in one Rousseau 2-ton French oak open-top fermenter. 3- day cold soak, with an extended post-fermentation maceration of 30 days. · The fruit in this wine veers to the ripe side but is hard to resist. Moderately intense aromas of black cherries and cassis with a subtle hint of toasty oak. Discreetly concentrated array of dark red berries and cherries with a little cherry cola, mocha and sweet oak highlights. A very elegant wine with a seductive texture. Very good. Reviewed January 27, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 Verve Momtazi Vineyard McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 75 cases, $33. 100% de-stemmed with no crushing, aged 18 months in 35% new French oak barrels. Bottled March 29, 2010. · Very shy nose hinting of sweet dark fruits but showing more prominent aromas of pipe smoke, old wood and herbs. The flavors trump the nose with a hearty medley of dark red Pinot fruits wrapped in firm tannins and an appealing citrus lift on the finish. I would probably wait on this one. Good. Reviewed January 27, 2011 ARTICLE »

2007 Verve Carneros Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 410 cases, $24. · Very complex aromatic profile featuring scents of wild berries, leather, wildflowers, herbs and even cream soda. Impressively smooth on the palate with a discreet arsenal of darker stone fruits and berries with a touch of hi-tone pomegranate. The oak is nicely integrated and the finish is well-endowed with fruit. Very good. Reviewed June 22, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 Verve Monterey Old Vines Rio San Lucas Vineyard Monterey County Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 98 cases, $24. 100% de-stemmed but not crushed. Fermented in T-bins. Manual punch downs. Minimal cold soak and 12 days average cuvaison. Aged 18 months in French oak barrels, 25% of which were new from Tonnellerie Rousseau. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · A dark and intriguing wine. Aromas of black grapes, plums and seasoned oak are penetrating. Delicious tastes of black cherry, black currant, black raspberry and plum. Well-structured with ripe tannins, but not the least bit tannic. Really blossoms with time in the glass. Very good (+) Reviewed October 29, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Verve Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 100 cases, $28. Released October 25, 2009.Clones 777 and Cruz. 100% de-stemmed, aged an average of 20 months in 25% new French oak barrels from Tonnellerie Rousseau. Bottled unfined and unfiltered and bottle aged 5 months. · An easygoing wine with pleasing aromas of cherries with hints of Herbs de Provence and seasoned oak. Highly enjoyable array of fruits including raspberries, strawberries and cherries with an earthy underpinning. Juicy with soft sinewy tannins and a vibrant finish. Nothing out of place. Very good. Reviewed June 22, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 Verve Stoller Vineyard Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 150 cases, $30. Yields 1.9 tons per acre average. 100% de-stemmed but not crushed. Fermented in 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 Rousseau and Saint- Martin barrels. Bottled unfined and aged an additional 5 months in bottle. · Aromas of red cherries, strawberries and smoky oak. The flavors echo the aromas. Light, elegant, soft and smooth with a good spark of acidity. A bit dilute which is reflective of this vintage in Oregon. Decent, but not nearly as impressive as the 2006 version of this wine. Reviewed October 29, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Verve Klein Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

94 cases, $33. Yields 1.5 tons per acre average. Clones 115 and 667. 100% destemmed but not crushed. Fermented in T-bins. Manual punch downs. Minimal cold soak and 12 days average cuvaison. Aged an average of 19 months in French oak barrels, 25% new from Tonnellerie Saint-Martin. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Initially the scents of fresh dark strawberries and black cherries dominate. With time in the glass, the fruit takes on a gregarious spicy tone with a hint of root beer. The core of powdery tannins is wrapped in layers of earth-dusted cherry and berry fruit. Light on its feet, gently styled, very smoothly textured, and showing perfect harmony. Very good (+) Reviewed October 29, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Verve Momtazi Vineyard McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

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. Reviewed October 29, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Verve Russian River Valley Emeritus Vineyard Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 214 cases, $33. Released October 25, 2009. From vines that average 8 years in age planted in sandy Goldridge soils. Clones 777 and Cruz. 100% destemmed, fermented in one Rousseau 2 ton French oak open top fermentor and T-Bins. Aged on average 20 months in 33% new French oak barrels from Tonnellerie Rousseau. Bottled unfined and unfiltered and bottle aged 5 months. · Darkly colored in the glass. Bright and clean scents of black cherries initially, showing a slightly roasted, raisiny quality over time. Moderately rich and very ripe Bing cherry fruit with hints of spice and savory herbs cruising to a crisp finish with a fine grip of acidity. Good. Reviewed June 22, 2010 ARTICLE »

2006 Verve Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., 145 cases, $28. Clones 115, 777, Pommard and Beringer. Vines average 12 years of age. Harvest Brix 26 average. 100% de-stemmed, fermented in open-top fermenters, manual punch down of cap, 3 days cold soak and 21 days total cuvaison average. Aged an average of 17 months in 30% new French oak and bottled aged 4 months. · Charming aromas and flavors of red current, cherry, cola and root beer. Caressing in the mouth, fine tannins, appealing lightness and very easy to drink. Reviewed October 1, 2008 ARTICLE »

2006 Verve Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., 150 cases, $28. · Alluring scent of ripe cherry and raspberry compote and cola. Refined tannins surround the juicy cherry core. Hints of root beer and cream soda add interest. Nicely restrained and well-crafted. Reviewed November 17, 2008 ARTICLE »

2006 Verve Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 110 cases, $33 ($264 a case). Sourced from Stoller Vineyard. Label artist is Michelle Bonnetain of France. · The nose is quite pleasant featuring aromas of strawberries and red raspberries, a touch of good barnyard and a nice oak spin. Delicious darker red fruit and pomegranate flavors saturate the palate with a sidecar of oak and a touch of brown sugar. Juicy with refreshing acidity, gossamer tannins and a silky mouth feel. Very enjoyable. Reviewed May 7, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 Verve Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., 425 cases, $33. Label art by Gerard Schnieder of France. Yields 2.2 tons per acre average. Clones are Pommard, 777, 828, Beringer and Cruz. Harvested at 27º Brix. 100% de-stemmed. Aged 17 months in 40% new French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Bright effusive Bing cherry and strawberry aromas with a hint of cardamon spice and marzipan. Crisp and juicy dark red ripe cherry fruit with a little sassafras, root beer, raisin and spice accents. No rough edges, no discernible tannins. An easy drinking wine that is a bit on the ripe side but quite enjoyable. Reviewed May 7, 2009 ARTICLE »

2005 Verve Sonoma Coast

100 cases, $24. · A shy and reduced nose leads to a core of dark fruits and barnyard notes. Very nice soft on the palate. Reviewed July 30, 2007 ARTICLE »

2005 Verve Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 325 cases, $30. Proprietor Jerome Aubin is a barrel broker based in the Bay Area of California who imports barrels from Rousseau in Burgundy, Saint-Martin in Bordeaux, and Balazs in Hungary. In 2001 he started his own label with the assistance of winemaker Fred Scherrer who made the wines from 2001 until 2004. This vintage was made in Oakland by winemaker Loren Tayerle. The word “verve” refers to energy or vitality in expression of artistic ideas. Each label features the work of a special artist. This bottle displays the creation of Gerard Schneider of France. The grapes for this wine include an interesting combination of Swan, Beringer, Jackson and Dijon 115 clones. · Pure red fruit nose with Asian five spice, pepper and a little floral accent. Flavors of confected red fruits are light and simple. There is no intrusion of oak. The texture is soft and welcoming. Easily approachable and quite decent. Aubin Cellars is located at 6050 Colton Blvd., Oakland, CA 94611. 510-339-1070. There are Pinot Noirs available from other California appellations and the Willamette Valley of Oregon as well. Good retail distribution in California and the wine may be ordered on the informative website. Reviewed October 20, 2007 ARTICLE »

2005 Verve Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 375 cases, $33. The grapes come from an unnamed well known vineyard located between Sebastopol and Forestville. The clones are an unusual mix of 115, Beringer, Jackson 9 and Swan. The wine was fermented in a Rousseau 2 ton French oak open-top fermenter and aged for 17 months in 40% new French oak followed by 6 months in bottle. · This wine smelled great with rich black cherry, plum, spice and pleasant oak aromas. Black cherry infused with sidecars of anise, herbs and spice, this medium to full bodied Pinot was soft and smooth in the mouth and left a refreshing impression on the finish. Plenty of Pinot love here. Reviewed January 20, 2008 ARTICLE »

2004 Verve Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 150 cases, $22. 80% Sonoma Coast fruit from a vineyard close to the Pacific Ocean and 20% Carneros Swan clone fruit. Vine age averages six years. Harvested at average 25° Brix. The label artist is Michelle Bonnetain of France. · This is an amazingly pure wine of great vim and vigor. The nose is perfumed beautifully with cranberry, cherry, spice and vanilla oak notes. There are more flavors here than Baskin Robbins: plump crushed cherries, herb tea, mocha, and a little earthiness. My notes say excellent (which is underlined) and that pretty much sums it up. A complete wine and the best California Pinot Noir I have tasted this year for around $20. Jackson would be proud. Pledge allegiance. Reviewed October 23, 2006 ARTICLE »

2004 Verve Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 160 cases, $27. This wine is from a premium vineyard in the Russian River Valley with vines averaging ten years in age. Harvested at average 26° Brix. The label artist is Gerard Schneider of France. · I love the aromatics which feature bright red cherries, Xmas spices and a little bit of what the French call “ca sent la merde.” With air time, the wine improves noticeably, the texture becoming smooth and the cherry cola fruits explode on the palate. Medium-bodied and nicely balanced, this Pinot finishes with lively acidity that is searching for some good food. Reviewed October 23, 2006 ARTICLE »