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.
“This classic bottling is still a baby and needs plenty of time to open. When it does, aromas of toasted hazelnuts, light oak, lemon pith and exotic apples show on the nose. The palate combines oak smoke with savoury sea salt and sumptuous golden apple fruits. Drink 2019–2030.”
93 points and Cellar Selection, Wine Enthusiast, Dec 2018
“Readers will find a gorgeous wine in the 2015 Chardonnay. Open-knit and radiant, with lovely suppleness, the 2015 will also drink well early, which is unusual for this wine. Tropical fruit, hazelnut, honeysuckle and orange peel give the 2015 a decidedly exotic feel. The Mount Eden Chardonnay is typically a bit more tense in style, but the 2015 vintage yielded an unusually accessible and – dare I say – flamboyant version of this wine.”
92 points, Antonio Galloni vinous.com, Aug 2018
“Deeply hued and very rich, with notes of beeswax and light smoke to the ripe pear, apple and Marcona almond flavours. The vividly structured finish shows lots of mineral and spice components and plenty of vanillin detail. Drink now through 2021.”
92 points, Wine Spectator, July 2018