The Santa Cruz Mountains holds a special distinction: They are home to the only two estate-bottled mountain-grown Cabernets that are truly influenced by the Pacific Ocean. Both have been at it awhile. The first is Ridge Monte Bello (1962), the second is Mount Eden Estate (1946). If you appreciate the qualities that result in Bordeaux varieties grown on the edge – namely, low alcohols, earth-driven flavours and unique terroir – these are the best examples. Mount Eden’s estate vineyard has been planted with Cabernet Sauvignon since the 1940s. It is a cool coastal vineyard, which results in lower alcohol wines with full flavours that evolve beautifully with time.
Estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignon is backed by small quantities of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Fruit is macerated in small open-top fermentors, then fermented using naturally occurring yeast alone. The wine is aged in French oak for two years before bottling, unfiltered and unfined.
“The very soon to be released Mount Eden cabernet sauvignon is an absolutely classic in the making. It is a tad less ripe than the lovely 2011 version, coming in at an even thirteen percent octane and offering up a very pure and nascently complex bouquet of black cherries, a touch of eucalyptus, cigar wrapper, dark soil tones, lavender and a nice, judicious framing of nutty new wood. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and rock solid at the core, with excellent focus and grip, ripe, seamless tannins and outstanding length on the very refined, youthful and impeccably balanced finish. This is an old school bottle of cabernet in the very best sense of the term, with great potential that is simply waiting for the passing of time to blossom and shine. But, it is properly structured out of the blocks and will need time in the cellar to start to really drink with generosity. It should prove to be very long-lived, once it reaches its plateau of maturity. 2025-2075+.”
95+ points, “View From the Cellar” by John Gilman, Issue #64, July/August 2016
“Extremely elegant and restrained at first on the nose, this bottling eventually shows gravel and crushed rocks, with hints of blackberry and forest underbrush also emerging. A very firm structure weaves together an incredibly well-integrated wine, with dense mulberry and dried-fennel notes that morph into crushed herbs with time. Drink 2018–2032.”
95 points and “Cellar Selection”, Wine Enthusiast, Dec 2016
“The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon is a rich, intense wine that tastes much riper than the 13% stated on the label. Black cherry jam, plum, game, mocha, licorice and dark spices are all pushed forward. I would prefer to give the 2012 at least a few years in bottle to shed some baby fat.”
94 points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, July 2016