The drought conditions that characterized the 2013 vintage necessitated an early harvest in late August. (While it was shrugged off as an anomaly at the time, it now seems to be the new normal.) The vintage signature is intensity: A huge spicy nose, slightly stemmy from whole cluster fermentation. Mount Eden had abandoned this method for 24 years but reintroduced it with the 2007 vintage. Whole cluster fermentation is a major topic among the artisan Pinot Noir world. It can give wines a great deal of complexity in both aroma and flavour. It can also, however, detract if misused, so experience and care is necessary to achieve balance in the finished wine. This Pinot Noir aged on lees in an equal mix of new and old Burgundian oak for one year before being bottled unfiltered and unfined.
Given the style of this vintage, this Pinot should give optimum drinking pleasure early on. Considering Mount Eden’s history, though, it is destined for a multi-decade future.
“The 2013 Pinot Noir Estate is one of the stars from the appellation, and the vintage. Offering fabulous notes of black cherries, currants, crushed rocks and sous bois, this beauty hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, building tannin and a killer finish. This is a sensational Pinot Noir that can be enjoyed today, or cellared for a decade or more.”
96 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Oct 2016
“Mount Eden’s 2013 Pinot Noir is going to need at least a few years to come into its own. Dense and powerful, yet also very tightly wound, the 2013 is in no mood to show all of its cards. Still, the intensity of the vintage is impossible to miss. The 35% whole clusters are nearly buried by the sheer intensity of the fruit. This ample, large-scaled Pinot will reward those who wait. I will not be surprised if the 2013 is even better in another few years, as it holds considerable promise.”
94+ points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, July 2016
“The 2013 vintage of the “Estate” pinot noir bottling from Mount Eden is outstanding. The wine is the same octane as the fine 2012 version, but both the nose and palate seem more seamless and refined, indicating just absolutely perfect ripeness in 2013. The perfumed bouquet offers up a youthful blend of cherries, strawberries, cocoa powder, a fine base of soil tones, just a touch of nut skin, fresh thyme, incipient cinnamon and a touch of vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, pure and beautifully balanced, with an outstanding core of fruit, stellar transparency, ripe, suave tannins, tangy acids and exceptional length and grip on the nascently complex finish. This is a very young and very, very fine bottle of pinot noir in the making. It will be approachable in a few years, but I would try very hard not to touch a bottle until it has had a full decade to evolve in the cellar! 2023-2065+”
94 points, John Gilman, “View From the Cellar”, July/August 2016