In the late 1940’s and early 1960’s, Martin Ray planted six acres of Chardonnay vines propagated from a Burgundian selection grown in the famous Paul Masson vineyard. Twenty acres of estate Chardonnay are now farmed at Mount Eden. Yields are far below the average for Chardonnay in California.
The estate vineyard is harvested when fruit is just slightly yellow to yellow-green in hue and pressed without crushing. Juice is barrel-fermented in new and one-year-old French Burgundy barrels, where the wine undergoes full malolactic fermentation and is ages on the lees for ten months before being lightly filtered and bottled. The Chardonnay then rests in the cellar for two years before release.
“The 2014 Chardonnay Estate from Mount Eden is terrific, offering up a youthful bouquet of buttered apples, pear, toasted nuts and brioche that reveals more and more nuance as it sits in the glass. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, pure and racy, with a satiny attack, deep core and bright acids. The finish is long and mouth-wateringly chalky. This is one of the best recent releases of the Estate Chardonnay, and it comes warmly recommended.”
96 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, May 2018
“The 2014 Chardonnay Estate comes from 43% of the average yields (it was a tiny crop due to the drought) and was barrel fermented in 70% new French oak and aged 10 months on lees before bottling. It’s another youthful, slightly reserved Chardonnay that’s going to benefit from cellaring. Brioche, buttered citrus, almond paste and honeysuckle all give way to a beautifully balanced, layered, rich effort that has vibrant acidity as well. There’s 1,495 cases.”
94 points, Jeb Dunnuck, Aug 2017
“An oil-like shade of yellow in the glass, this is still a baby, showing aromas of walnut, seared lemon, yogurt, white flowers, oak and smoke. The acidity is pure and strong, cutting through the nutty flavours and savoury richness. Sea salt, browned butter, Meyer lemon peels and orange marmalade flavours will only grow more cohesive with time.”
94 points, Wine Enthusiast, Nov 2017