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Mount Eden Pinot Noir 2017
Domaine Eden Pinot Noir 2017
Is Mount Eden California’s greatest vineyard? Every time I have a great aged Mount Eden wine – which is most of the time – I’m in awe of how well it develops. This is a unique property in the sense that all three of the major grapes grown there – Cabernet, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir – not only are distinctive and classy, but they age incredibly well. Suppose if one were to only collect wine from one vineyard, Mount Eden would be a tough choice to beat.” –James Laube, Wine Spectator
“This iconic winery continues to offer wines with personalities and styles that set them apart (especially the estate wines) from just about anything else readers will taste from California.” –Robert Parker, Wine Advocate
“Mount Eden refuses to conform to the stylistic demands of today’s market, which emphasize power, lush fruit flavors and immediate gratification over nuance, minerality and balance. The cabernets are more sinewy and lean than rich and concentrated. The pinot noir, which is made in very small quantities, is light-bodied and graceful rather than sweet and plush. And, rather than flavors of oak, butterscotch, tropical fruit and popcorn, the Chardonnay offers captivating texture and subtle flavors wound around a core of lively acidity. It takes time to unravel, sometimes many years, which puts Mount Eden in the company of great historic California chardonnay producers like Stony Hill and Hanzell.”
–Eric Asimov, NY Times
Mount Eden Vineyards is a small historic wine estate perched at 2000 feet overlooking Silicon Valley in the Santa Cruz Mountain Appellation, about 50 miles south of San Francisco. Founded in 1945, it is recognized as one of the original “boutique” California winery properties, focusing on small lots of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Mount Eden’s lineage of estate bottled Chardonnay and Pinot Noir is the longest in California.
Planted in austere, infertile Franciscan shale on a cool, exposed mountaintop, these low-yielding estate vineyards have consistently produced world-class wines for over a half-century. In 2007 Mount Eden acquired an additional 55-acre wine estate in the Saratoga foothills, which was christened Domaine Eden.
Mount Eden Vineyards also produces non-estate Chardonnays from the central coast, primarily Edna Valley. They have great success making Chardonnay from the Wolff Vineyard and are continually recognized as making outstanding wines from that region.
Since 1981 Jeffrey Patterson has guided the winemaking and grape growing at Mount Eden. His emphasis is on wine growing rather than winemaking, and an obsession with gentleness and naturalness in the handling of the grapes and wines is his ongoing passion. The story of the estate, and its founding is fascinating and includes some of the legendary founders of California winemaking.
Mount Eden Martin Ray planted Pinot Noir at Mount Eden in 1945. The budwood came from Paul Masson’s original vineyard near Mount Eden. Because Masson was a good friend of the Louis Latour family of Burgundy, it is likely the selection came from one of Latour’s finest vineyards and was brought by Masson to California during the 1880s.
The faith that Martin Ray demonstrated in this difficult red wine variety, at a time when America had little appreciation of fine wine, was remarkable. Today, Pinot Noir vines occupy seven acres of the estate vineyard and typically yield a meager one to one-and-a-half tons per acre.
96 points Parker’s Wine Advocate: “The 2017 Pinot Noir Estate offers savory, layered aromas of earth and laurel, charcuterie and orange peel, with amaro-laced red and black berries. The palate is grainy and fresh, with a kaleidoscope of spices and a very long finish. It’s incredibly appealing now but will benefit from a long decant.”
94 points Vinous: “The 2017 Pinot Noir is a very pretty, open-knit wine. Crushed rose petal, sweet red berry, mint, cedar and sweet pipe tobacco give the 2017 striking aromatic presence. In 2017, the Mount Eden Pinot is a decidedly forward, silky wine that looks like it will offer its best drinking sooner rather than later. The 2017 was done with 33% whole clusters and saw 50% new barrels.
Domaine Eden Domaine Eden is a nearby mountaintop wine estate purchased in 2007. Modeled after Mount Eden, it was founded and built by the late Tom Mudd in 1983, who initially planted the Mount Eden clonal selections of Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, which evolved to include Pinot Noir from various Dijon and California selections. This is the former home of Cinnabar Winery. This property inspired a new wine brand, Domaine Eden, which focuses on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from this special site and Bordeaux varieties from Mount Eden’s larger home, the Santa Cruz Mountains.
This Pinot Noir is a mosaic of different selections and clones grown at Domaine Eden: Dijon clones 777, 667 and 828 reside alongside the historic California selections Mount Eden, Calera and Swan. Each parcel is farmed to Mount Eden’s strict standards of sustainability, dry farming and low yields.
91 points Vinous The 2017 Pinot Noir is rich, effusive and full of character. In 2017, the Pinot Noir is perhaps a bit richer than it can be, but all the elements come together nicely with a bit of time. Succulent red cherry, rose petal, mint and cinnamon all build in an ample, luscious Pinot that will drink well right out of the gate Harvest took place in mid-September, later than at Mount Eden, as is always the case. This is the first vintage that includes fruit from a block planted with budwood from Rhys.